The number of people placed in permanent jobs by surveyed recruitment consultancies continued to rise in November. However, the rate of growth moderated further, reaching its slowest for one-and-a-half years. Reporting a drop in candidate availability rose from 41% in October to 44% in November. This compares with 45% of respondents that reported a worsening situation in September and 52% that said so in August. Only 8% reported an improvement in the availability of permanent staff in November. The availability of permanent candidates remained low in November, with a range of skills reported in short-supply.
However, agency billings for temporary and contract staff increased again in November, with the rate of expansion quickening from that recorded in the previous survey period.
Furthermore, starting salaries for successful candidates placed in permanent jobs increased, with the rate of growth quickening from October’s eight-month low.
- Permanent placements increase at slowest pace in 18 months
- Faster rise in temp billings
- Strong salary growth amid falling candidate availability
Midlands-based consultancies indicated the strongest growth of permanent placements, while the slowest rise was signalled in London. Growth of temp billings was fastest in the Midlands and weakest in the South of England during the latest survey period.
Data signalled that growth of demand remained considerably stronger for private sector roles than public sector vacancies in November. In both cases, permanent staff saw a faster rise than temporary/contract employees.
- Engineering remained top of the demand for staff league table
- Accounting and Finance in second place
- Hotel and Catering workers had the slowest rise in demand.
- IT & Computing employees were the most in-demand type of short-term staff
- Construction workers registered the weakest growth of demand.
Kevin Green, CEO at REC
“It’s been a strong year for the UK labour market and it’s a sign of continuing business confidence that employers are expanding their permanent workforces and are prepared to make more generous offers to new recruits to attract the right people. Over a quarter of recruiters say that starting salaries for equivalent jobs are getting better by the month, driven by competition between employers for quality candidates.
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG
“Not much sign of a happy Christmas in the job market. The rate at which permanent contracts are being signed is rising at the slowest rate in 18 months.
“This follows an unexpected fall in investment in the UK in Q3.
“With political uncertainty in the UK, and in particular the country’s position on Europe, could this be the start of a negative trend in the jobs market? Let’s hope not and that the initiatives announced in the Autumn Statement convert to new employment opportunities.”