The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs – published 10th April – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies. This is a summary of that report:
Staff placements continue to rise strongly…
March survey data highlighted further marked growth of recruitment activity across the UK. Permanent staff placements rose at a rate unchanged from February’s considerable pace, while temp billings growth was only slightly slower than the five-month high recorded in the preceding period.
…supported by robust demand for staff
The survey’s index of job vacancies rose to a five-month high in March, signalling strong demand for staff. Marked rates of expansion were indicated for both permanent and short-term workers.
Salary growth fastest in six months…
Average starting salaries for people placed in permanent job roles increased further in March. The latest increase was the strongest since last September. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff rose at a robust pace, albeit slightly slower than in February.
…amid falling candidate availability
The availability of staff to fill vacancies continued to decline in March. The latest drop in permanent candidate supply was the sharpest in four months, while temp availability deteriorated at the fastest pace since last October.
Regional and sector variation
All four monitored English regions saw rising permanent placements during March, with growth strongest in the Midlands and the South.
Midlands-based agencies recorded the fastest increase in temp billings during the latest survey period.
Private sector demand for staff remained stronger than that in the public sector during March. Private sector permanent vacancies registered the sharpest increase overall.
All monitored types of permanent staff registered higher levels of demand for their services in March. The most sought-after categories were Engineering and Accounting/Financial, marginally ahead of Executive/Professional.
Growth of demand was broad-based across all monitored temporary workers categories during the latest survey period. The sharpest increase was signalled for Nursing/Medical/Care workers, with Blue Collar staff seeing the next-fastest rise.