United Kingdom


  • Industry: Business Services, Government & Public Sector
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 09/05/2013

Report on Jobs: Permanent placements growth picks up, but temp billings fall in April 


Key points


  • Faster rise in permanent staff appointments
  • Temp billings down for first time in nine months
  • Solid expansion of job vacancies maintained
  • Weaker pay growth signalled




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.

Faster rise in permanent placements contrasts with fall in temp billings

The number of people placed in permanent jobs increased for a seventh successive month in April, with the rate of growth accelerating since March. However, temp billings declined for the first time in nine months.

Solid growth of job vacancies

Demand for staff continued to rise at a solid pace in April. Permanent staff vacancy growth inched up since March, but temp vacancies increased at the weakest pace in nine months. 

Weaker pay growth

April data pointed to an easing in the rate of inflation of permanent staff salaries, with the latest rise the slowest since last November. Temp pay growth also eased on the month.

Availability of permanent staff static

Permanent staff availability was broadly unchanged in April, ending a four-month period of decline. Temp availability rose, but only modestly and at the slowest rate in 2013 so far.

Regional and sector variation

The Midlands saw the strongest rate of permanent placements growth, followed by the South. London meanwhile posted a modest rise. The North registered stagnation.

Temporary/contract staff billings rose in the Midlands and the North during April. In contrast, London and the South posted declines.

Public sector demand for staff declined, with reduced vacancies indicated for both permanent and temporary/contract workers. In contrast, private sector employees saw growth of demand, with the faster expansion reported for permanent staff.

The strongest growth of demand for permanent staff was signalled within the Engineering sector during April. IT & Computing workers also registered a marked rise in demand for their services. In contrast, there was a slight fall in demand for Hotel & Catering staff.

Seven of the nine monitored temporary/contract staff sectors saw improved demand in the latest survey period. The fastest increase was signalled for Nursing/Medical/Care workers, followed by Engineering personnel. Two sectors posted declines in demand, namely Construction and Hotel & Catering.


Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Negative news on the jobs front has been so commonplace in recent months that it has almost become a cliché. The latest figures, however, hint at a positive turn with permanent placements accelerating, the rate of demand for permanent staff remaining solid and average starting salaries continuing to rise.

“Yet these positive signs should not be taken as a signal that we are reaching the proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The data suggests that optimism is lower when temporary roles are considered and there are also still too many inconsistencies across the UK to hint at recovery. The reality is that there are likely to be storm clouds ahead before the employment rainbow will really be allowed to shine.”

REC chief executive, Kevin Green, said: "Demand in the economy is returning, slowly but surely. Businesses are feeling more confident, hence the seventh consecutive month of permanent jobs growth and a full year of month-on-month rises in starting salaries. It really is one in the eye for the naysayers who talk down our labour market and dismiss improving employment figures as being 'the wrong kind of jobs'.

"Recruiters are reporting a renewed sense of purpose from their clients, with employers making hiring decisions more quickly than before. Highly skilled jobs like engineering and IT are still big growth areas, and the reports of shortages of people to fill sales vacancies show that companies are gearing up for increases in business investment and consumer spending.

"We think that the drop in temp placements in this month’s report is more down to the calendar than the economy with many contracts expiring at the end of the financial year. All the feedback from recruiters is that employers have no intention of cutting back on their use of flexible staffing in the months ahead.”

Full reports and historical data from the Report on Jobs are available by subscription. Please contact economics@markit.com.



For further information, please contact:



Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office 020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or mike.petrook@kpmg.co.uk

Markit Economics (technical/data queries):


Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist, Telephone 01491 461087 / jack.kennedy@markit.com 


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 economics@markit.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.

About KPMG


KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 12,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2012. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 156 countries and have 152,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  KPMG International provides no client services.

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.

About Markit


Markit is a leading, global financial information services company with over 2,800 employees.  The company provides independent data, valuations and trade processing across all asset classes in order to enhance transparency, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency.  Its client base includes the most significant institutional participants in the financial market place.  For more information, see www.markit.com. 


© Copyright in the Report on Jobs, including the Report on Jobs survey data, is owned by Markit Economics Limited. Distribution or storage including databasing by any means including, without limitation, electronic distribution is not permitted without the prior consent of Markit.


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