Filed under Press releaseTuesday, 09 May 2017
The Markit/REC Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
Slowest increase in permanent placements for seven months
Growth in permanent staff placements slowed to its weakest for seven months during April, but was nonetheless solid overall. In contrast, temp billings increased at a sharp and accelerated pace that was the fastest seen in 2017 so far.
Sharper drop in candidate availability
Strong growth in salaries sustained...
...as demand for staff remains sharp
Vacancies continued to rise markedly in April for both permanent and temporary/contract staff. This was despite growth in demand for both types of staff softening slightly since the previous month.
The Midlands saw the fastest rate of expansion in permanent placements, closely followed by Scotland. Meanwhile, London saw the slowest increase.
Temp billings growth was recorded across all monitored regions, led by Scotland and London. The weakest increase was registered in the South of England.
Latest data pointed to divergent sector trends, with demand for staff rising sharply across the private sector, but declining across the public sector. Demand for private sector permanent and temporary staff rose sharply despite the rates of expansion easing to four- and three-month lows, respectively.
At the same time, vacancies for permanent public sector staff declined for the second month in a row, albeit slightly. Demand for public sector temporary workers meanwhile fell for the first time since January, though only slightly.
Engineering was the most in-demand category for permanent staff in April, closely followed by IT & Computing and Nursing/Medical/Care. Nonetheless, strong expansions were seen across the board at the start of the second quarter.
REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:
“Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK, but there are fewer and fewer people available to fill the vacancies. We have the lowest unemployment rate since 2005, and people already in work are becoming more hesitant about moving jobs amid Brexit uncertainty. Meanwhile, the weakening pound and lack of clarity about future immigration rules is putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK.
“As a result, candidate availability is at a 16-month low and recruiters are flagging a shortage of suitable applicants for more than 60 different roles from cleaner to accountant. Every shortage has wider implications, for example the exceptional reputation UK engineering enjoys globally is at risk because employers can’t find people with the skills they need.