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 salary growth accelerates
Starting salaries for people placed in permanent jobs increased strongly in March, with growth picking up to the sharpest since July 2007. However, temporary/contact staff pay increased at the slowest rate in five months.
Steeper decline in candidate availability
Recruitment consultants indicated further reductions in the availability of candidates in March. Permanent staff availability fell at the sharpest rate since October 2004, while the latest drop in temporary/contract staff availability was the fastest in almost 10 years.
Permanent and temporary appointments rise at slower rates
Rates of growth in both permanent and temporary staff appointments eased during March, but remained strong overall.
Further marked increase in vacancies
Demand for staff continued to rise at a marked pace in March, with the rate of expansion only just shy of January’s 15½-year high.
Regional and sector variation
Marked increases in permanent placements were recorded in each of the four English regions monitored by the survey, with the strongest growth indicated in the North. The Midlands led a broad-based upturn in short-term staff billings in March. The slowest growth was recorded in the North.
Private sector demand for staff remained stronger than that in the public sector during March. The fastest growth was signalled for private sector permanent roles, although private sector temporary vacancies also recorded a strong rise. In the public sector, solid increases in demand were seen, with public sector positions registering a faster rise than private sector roles.
Demand rose for all nine types of permanent staff in March. The strongest growth was signalled for Engineering workers, while the slowest increase was recorded for Blue Collar employees. Nursing/Medical/Care led a broad-based expansion of demand for temporary/contract staff in March. Engineering and Blue Collar were in second and third places respectively in the demand for staff ‘league table’.
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, comments: “Britain may not yet be near the levels of full employment that Chancellor George Osborne committed to last week but, with permanent and temporary placements remaining strong, anyone looking for a new job must be increasingly confident that their search will soon be over. It’s particularly encouraging to note that employers are focusing on full-time employment, with more organisations offering contracts for permanent positions than temporary roles over the past month.
“It also appears that employers are attempting to encourage candidates to move away from the short-term mentality of temporary roles by raising the bar with the starting salaries aligned to permanent positions. Today’s data shows ‘offer salaries’ picking up at their sharpest pace for almost 7 years, whilst contract staff saw their pay increase at the slowest rate since November 2013. It’s a welcome sign that employers have enough confidence to commit their balance sheets to long term employment plans.
“If that wasn’t a clear enough indication that employment is on the up, the data also shows that demand for staff continues to rise. Marginally up on the figures for February, the latest data suggests that engineering, construction and IT are the sectors hungriest for talent. It’s all good news, but the next step will be for candidates to put themselves forward for the role on offer – something they still seem unwilling to do.”
REC Director of Policy Tom Hadley said: “The trend of growth in people finding jobs across all industrial sectors and regions continues. Starting salaries and hourly pay rates are up as employers battle to entice the talent they need. As real wages begin to rise across the jobs market people will start to feel better off.
“However worsening candidate shortages mean that the number of people available to fill both temporary and permanent jobs is falling at the sharpest rate in nearly a decade. We have a core group of long-term unemployed people whose skills don’t fit with current vacancies and are unable to access the jobs market.
“As well as up skilling UK workers, the government needs to take a joined up approach to immigration. A priority is addressing the restrictions on visas for highly skilled workers, which would allow businesses to access the people they need to grow and create jobs for more British workers.”
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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 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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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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