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Professional jobs market continues to replace permanent jobs with contractors

Professional jobs market continues to replace permanent jobs with contractors

&middot Professional businesses increasingly relying on temporary staff, with placements up 4%

&middotPublic sector pay over the last year shrinks by almost a third

The number of new permanent jobs in the professional recruitment market has continued to fall, with research revealing a 2% drop in the number of available jobs over the last year (to October 2012) according to jobs data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

APSCo says that the bad news for permanent job seekers is tempered by improvements in the temporary jobs market, with new temporary placements up 4% over the same period.

Recent data from the ONS also showed a strong improvement in the UK’s employment figures, which was moderated by poor performance in the number of permanent jobs in the UK.

Comments Ann Swain, Chief Executive for APSCo: “We’re seeing a very continuous trend in the professional recruitment market towards the hiring of temporary staff in preference to permanent staff. Businesses still don’t have the confidence to make permanent hires when they can use temporary staff instead.”

“Hopefully the UK’s recent positive GDP figures will prove to be a shot in the arm for UK professional service firms, and lead to more confident permanent hiring of staff.”

“Whilst an increase in temporary placements may not appear good news as permanent hires fall, the use of contract workers is offering a great deal of flexibility to both employers and employees.”

APSCo’s monthly jobs data report provides a snapshot of the UK’s professional recruitment market across all professional-level sectors including financial services, marketing, engineering and legal services.

APSCo says that the sector to have seen the strongest growth in temporary placements is the marketing and media sector, which saw a 7% rise in placements in the last year.

Salary cuts in 21 out of 36 sectors

An analysis on new job vacancies undertaken for APSCo by Broadbean shows salaries in 21 out of 36 sectors for new roles have fallen victim to decreases in pay, leading to an overall median drop of 1.8%.

While the majority of new salaries decreased by under 10%, larger percentage decreases were recorded for new jobs advertised in new media and internet (21.3%) and graduates and trainees positions (15%).

Says John Nurthen, of Staffing Industry Analysts: “Newly advertised graduate and trainee salaries have continued to fall, as the graduate job market becomes increasingly competitive.”

“The number of graduates looking for a job is higher now than ever before, and employers can capitalise on the tough competition by offering lower starting salaries.”

Public sector salaries down 31%

APSCo says that public sector and Government jobs have seen the biggest cut in salaries for newly advertised jobs since September 2011, with year on year falls of 31%.

The Government’s wider aim to reduce the public deficit has decimated average salaries for new public sector roles.

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