Written by Guest Author | October 17, 2014
If any recruitment agency in Exeter, Manchester, Leeds or elsewhere in the United Kingdom wishes to get a comprehensive overview of the current state of the country’s labour market, there’s only one place they need to look: the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs.
There was certainly plenty in the most recent report – which is issued every month – to interest those agencies and the organisations using them. Findings from the September Report on Jobs – which is drawn from recruitment consultancies’ original survey data – included the slowest rate of growth in permanent placements for ten months, as well as a four-month low in the growth of starting salaries.
However, permanent placement still saw strong growth overall, while the rate at which temporary pay rose was the highest for almost seven years. The month saw agencies’ temporary/contract billings rise “at a strong and accelerated pace”, with the most recent increase being the seventeenth in a row.
September was also marked by a continuing decline in candidate availability, the supply of both permanent and temporary staff tightening. Such falls clearly helped to drive up pay, with the growth of salaries for permanent staff remaining strong, while temporary/contract workers saw their hourly pay heightening at its quickest pace since November 2007.
The trend for permanent staff placement growth was healthy across the four English regions monitored by the survey, the strongest rise being recorded in the North, and London seeing the slowest. Temp billings in September went up at the fastest rate in the Midlands, the most meagre expansion being posted in the South.
There was a much quicker rise in demand for private sector staff than their public sector counterparts, private sector temporary vacancies racking up the fastest rate of growth, with the opposite able to be said of short-term roles in the public sector.
The work category for which the greatest demand for permanent employees was indicated during September was engineering, the same as the previous year. Hotel and catering workers were subject to the slowest increase in demand. The greatest demand for short-term workers in September was in the nursing/medical/care sector, only narrowly beating engineering. Executive/professional roles grew at the slowest rate.
REC chief executive Kevin Green commented: “Once again more people have secured permanent and temporary jobs via recruiters than in the previous month, a sign of the continued strength of the UK’s labour market.
“Hourly pay for people on temporary contracts has risen at the fastest pace for nearly seven years, which shows that employers are bringing in temps and contractors with the skills they need quickly and are willing to pay to do so.
“The increasing lack of candidates continues to be a worry as shortages spread across more industries. It’s not just engineers and IT specialists that recruiters are finding it hard to source – blue collar roles like bricklayers, drivers and electricians are getting harder and harder to fill too.”