United Kingdom


  • Industry: Professional Services
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 08/10/2012

Report on Jobs: Permanent placements stabilise, while temp billings rise for second month in a 


Key points:


  • Permanent appointments down only fractionally
  • Second month of growth in temp billings puts it at 14-month high
  • Demand for staff increases at stronger rate
  • Nursing/Medical/Care remains most in-demand staffing sector
  • Pay growth remains muted amid rising candidate availability




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. 

Permanent placements broadly stable; faster rise in temp billings

The rate of decline in permanent placements moderated to near-stagnation in September, with only a fractional fall recorded. Temporary staff billings rose for the second month running, with the rate of expansion quickening to a 14-month high.   

Demand for staff strengthens

Job vacancies continued to increase in September, with the rate of growth accelerating to a 13-month high. Stronger expansions were signalled for both permanent and temporary workers. 

Candidate availability rises further

Growth of permanent staff availability was recorded for the fifth consecutive month in September, albeit at the slowest pace since May. Temporary staff availability continued to rise at a solid rate.  

Slight increase in staff pay

Although pay increased for both permanent and temporary staff in September, in both cases the rate of inflation was only marginal.

Regional and sector variation

The drop in permanent placements was centred on London, although the rate of contraction eased to the slowest in four months. Employment increased moderately elsewhere across the English regions.  


Growth of short-term staff appointments was again strong in the Midlands during the latest survey period, while the South and North also saw increases. London, however, registered a decline.


Trends in demand for staff again differed by sector during September. Private sector vacancies continued to rise, but there was a further reduction in public sector vacancies.


Nursing/Medical/Care remained the most in-demand category for both permanent and temporary staff in September.




Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments:  “It must be hugely encouraging for job seekers to see figures suggesting that demand for staff is on the increase, particularly as the data now shows a 13-month high.  Add to this news that permanent roles are stabilising and temporary positions have seen another month of growth and it would be easy to assume that the corner is being turned.

“However, the jobs market cannot be viewed in isolation as any sustainable improvement in employment remains dependent on the growth of the economy as a whole.  Whilst some parts of the country may be showing signs of recovery, others are lagging behind and until an upward trajectory is seen across the whole of the UK, the jobs market will remain fragile with warnings to ‘handle with care’.

“If we are to see sustained growth in employment demand, we need to get growth back into the economy itself.  That is why the picture remains fragile, and a jobs recovery is by no means assured.”

Recruitment and Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green says: “This month’s figures show that the temporary labour market has bouncebackability.  The resilience of the UK labour market in the face of what official figures class as a double dip recession continues to be remarkable.  This increase in the use of temps for the second month in a row could be a sign of optimism among employers, and that they are gearing up for future growth. It certainly puts pay to any idea that changes to Agency Worker Regulations last year dissuaded British businesses from using temps as a vital component of their workforce. Temporary staff are an efficient, flexible way for businesses to increase their workforce and grow their businesses out of recession.

“The data provide encouraging signs for the economy, with demand for staff continuing to increase and candidate availability rising. However, we know that confidence is fragile and a big external shock could derail us from this promising course.”              

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, Telephone 01491 461087


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 11,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 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.

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 2,300 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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