The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
Stronger rises in permanent and temporary appointments
The number of people placed in permanent jobs continued to increase in December, with the rate of expansion accelerating to the sharpest since March 2010. Growth of temp billings also quickened, reaching its fastest pace for over 15 years.
Vacancy growth holds near 15-year high
Demand for staff continued to increase strongly in December. The rate of expansion of job vacancies was little-changed from the 15-year high posted in November.
Permanent salaries rise at fastest pace in over six years...
Average starting salaries for people placed in permanent jobs increased further in December, with the rate of growth the strongest since October 2007. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates rose at a solid pace that was slightly slower than in the previous month.
...amid declining availability of candidates
The availability of staff to fill permanent job roles continued to fall in December. The latest reduction was the steepest since November 2004. Although easing slightly from November’s nine-year record, the rate of decline in temporary/contract staff availability remained substantial.
Regional and sector variation
The Midlands registered the steepest increase in permanent placements during December, followed by the North. Mirroring the trend observed for permanent staff, the fastest growth of temp billings in December was recorded in the Midlands, while the North posted the second-sharpest rise.
Private sector demand for staff remained much stronger than that in the public sector, according to the latest survey data. In the private sector, marked rates of vacancy growth were signalled for both permanent and temporary workers. Public sector demand for permanent staff stagnated in December, whereas temporary vacancies rose at a solid pace.
Demand increased for all nine permanent staff categories covered by the survey in December. The strongest rate of expansion was signalled for Executive/Professional workers. Nursing/Medical/ Care, IT & Computing and Accounting/Financial also registered strong rates of growth.
Higher levels of demand were signalled for each of the nine temporary/contract staff categories in December. IT & Computing posted the fastest growth, with Nursing/Medical/Care and Accounting/Financial completing the top three places in the demand for staff ‘league table’.
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Combine the latest job figures with news that business confidence has reached a new high and it’s easy to share the renewed sense of optimism amongst employers. Permanent placements alone have hit a 4-year peak and with temporary hires accelerating to a 15-year high there is clearly room for corporate investment and, with it, job creation. Little wonder there is speculation suggesting Mark Carney might revise the unemployment benchmark at which an interest rate rise will be considered.
“The recovery is clearly gaining momentum, but it will remain delicate until exports show stronger growth. As a result employers and individuals, alike, will be keeping an eye on interest rates and the impact any changes have on the pound in their pocket before deciding if a new job is the way to go. Some uncertainty still remains because the availability of staff to fill roles has seen a steep fall – the biggest for almost 10 years. It’s a particularly strong pattern in the Midlands and across London, and one which should be monitored carefully. The risk is that if it continues employers who are desperate to fill a gap could become stretched beyond their means at the same time as over-inflating the market by offering high salaries just to tempt employees to move.”
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s head of policy Kate Shoesmith says: “The UK labour market is starting the New Year in robust form. Our latest figures show sharp growth in the number of people finding new permanent jobs and the most rapid rise in starting salaries since October 2007. Increasing demand for temp workers has driven up hourly pay rates for agency workers for the eleventh month on the trot. Growing confidence means more and more employers are willing to invest in their workforce and take on more people.
“The real concern now is the mismatch between demand and supply with recruiters reporting that they can’t source suitable candidates for vacancies in a whole range of sectors. Companies want to hire more salespeople, accountants and businesses development staff to help their enterprises grow, but can’t find people with the right skills to take the jobs.”
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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 provides cross-sector and pan-region analysis of the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
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 email@example.com.
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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About Recruitment and Employment Confederation
15 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 9XT. Tel: 020 7009 2100. Fax: 0207 935 4112 Website: www.rec.uk.com
The REC is the professional body representing the UK’s £24.6 billion private recruitment and staffing industry with more than 8,000 recruitment agencies and 6,000 recruitment consultants in membership. There are more than 1 million temporary workers registered with UK agencies who are deployed in industry, commerce and the public services every day.
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