Weaker decreases in both permanent placements and temp billings reported
Candidate availability continues to improve
Slight increase in permanent salaries, but temp pay declines
Engineering/Construction and Nursing/Medical/Care workers most in-demand
Rise in private sector vacancies offsets public sector decline
The KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) ‘Report on Jobs’ – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
Staff appointments fall at slower pace
Although there were further reductions in both permanent and short-term staff appointments during July, in both cases the rates of decline eased slightly since June.
Growth of vacancies eases
The number of vacancies available to jobseekers continued to increase during July, but the latest improvement was the least marked for six months.
Further improvement in candidate availability
Recruitment consultants indicated that the availability of staff continued to rise in July. Solid improvements in both permanent and temporary/contract staff availability were recorded.
Permanent salaries edge higher, but temp pay falls
Average starting salaries for people placed in permanent jobs increased modestly during July, but the rate of inflation remained historically weak. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff fell slightly.
Regional and sector variation
July data showed that permanent placements fell in all English regions with the exception of the Midlands, where no change was recorded. The steepest decline was registered in London. Short-term staff billings fell in London and the North of England during July, offsetting rises in the Midlands and the South.
Vacancy data showed that higher demand from private sector employers offset a further decrease in public sector demand. By category, Engineering/ Construction and Nursing/Medical/Care were the most sought-after types of staff.
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Only a few weeks ago there was an audible sigh of relief across the UK’s workforce as official employment figures indicated signs of improvement.
“However, my concern is that any sigh of relief may be mistaken for a groan of exasperation, because the rate at which employers are recruiting has decreased for the second consecutive month, and this suggests that there is still a high degree of uncertainty. It is also likely that the ‘Olympic effect’ is combining with the traditionally quiet summer period for job hunters.
“After so much debate surrounding employment prospects across public services there is, at least, some good news with higher demand across private businesses offsetting the slowdown in public sector recruitment. Yet, the real story of recovery will also probably only start to emerge in the autumn as the true impact of the Olympics begins to emerge. Given that the latest data shows that the sharpest drop in permanent placements was registered in London, questions remain around how businesses in the Capital will look to grow and expand after the summer lull in activity.”
Recruitment and Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green says: “The UK’s labour market deserves a gold medal for its incredible performance in the face of adversity so far this year. In the last few months, it has defied gravity as unemployment has fallen and jobs grew even while the economy slipped back into recession.
“But this run might be coming to an end as this month’s data shows that permanent appointments have fallen for a second month and temporary employment has seen an eighth consecutive month of contraction. However, we have always said that we expected to see ups and downs in the employment figures rather than a continued sustained period of jobs growth.
“What must be emphasised, though, is that employers are still hiring. In fact, the number of vacancies has grown, but fragile confidence means they are taking longer to make decisions about appointments and the whole process of recruiting is slowing down. This slow-down is likely to be exacerbated further by thousands of school and university leavers joining the jobs market over the next month.
“On a positive note, there are some sectors that are defying this month’s decline and continuing to experience significant demand for staff, most notably engineering, computing and healthcare.”
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Note to Editors:
The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit on behalf of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and KPMG. The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive monthly picture of recruitment, employment and employee earnings trends available.
The Report features original research data from Markit, collected via questionnaire from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. In 2010/11, some 1,049,333 people were employed in either temporary or contract work through consultancies and 604,193 people were placed in permanent positions through consultancies. Data for the monthly survey were first collected in October 1997 and are collected at the end of each month, with respondents asked to specify the direction of change in a number of survey variables.
All Index numbers are calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting an improvement, no change or decline. These indices vary between 0 and 100 with reading of exactly 50.0 signalling no change on the previous month. Readings above 50 signal an increase or improvement; readings below 50 signal a decline or deterioration. Reasons given by survey respondents for any changes are analysed to provide insight into the causes of movements in the indices and are also used to adjust for expected seasonal variations.
Markit do not revise underlying survey data after first publication, but seasonal adjustment factors may be revised from time to time as appropriate which will affect the seasonally adjusted data series. Historical data relating to the underlying (unadjusted) numbers, first published seasonally adjusted series and subsequently revised data are available to subscribers from Markit. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A regional Report on Jobs series is now available comprising four regional reports tracking labour market trends across the Midlands, the North of England, the South of England and London. The reports are designed to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to labour market trends and the data are directly comparable with the UK Report on Jobs.
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