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Finance jobs make a come-back while engineering remains resilient

Finance jobs make a come-back while engineering remains resilient

First signs of green shoots in white collar jobs market

Encouraging news for accounting and finance professionals as the latest monthly trends report from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reveals that both permanent vacancies and placements have grown by just over 2% for the first time since September 2011 - a trend replicated in the temporary market.  This together with slightly more encouraging GDP figures could mean a bright spot on the horizon for the professional jobs market after a bleak long winter.

Engineering still the most resilient sector

Engineering remains the most resilient of the professional sectors with skill shortages still dominating the picture. This is evidenced by the increasing number of vacancies versus a falling number of placements with the contract market having to take up the slack.

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, accounting and IT.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments: “This is obviously good news and the fact that official figures are telling us that full time work is still increasing faster than part time work and that overall vacancy rates are growing is evidence that things are slowly getting better. In fact latest official data shows a rise of almost 9% year on year in vacancy levels and a fall in the jobseekers claimant count of over 4% - a figure that surprised analysts who were expecting no change.”

Regions outperforming London

Data provided by Innovantage which analyses vacancies across thousands of job boards shows an average 9% year on year rise in advertised permanent roles nationally for white collar professionals.  Every region of the country recorded an increase with the exception of London which recorded a 7% drop.

While this can be partly explained by the historical trend towards employing contractors rather than permanent staff, London still fell behind in the temporary vacancy stakes with a 5% year on year increase in contract vacancies as opposed to the 12% average across the whole of the UK.

John Nurthen, Executive Director International Development for Staffing Industry Analysts which compiles the data on behalf of APSCo comments: “The latest data on accounting and finance jobs is encouraging but we’d need to see the positive momentum continuing for a couple of more months before we could be confident that the market is recovering properly. Nevertheless, our expectation for the UK staffing industry as a whole was that a weak first half of the year would lead to a better second half. The first half certainly seems to have lived up to expectations and the latest data in the monthly trends report suggests we can be cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the year.”

Salaries still under pressure

Salaries remain under pressure, however according to data provided by Broadbean, while the median salary across professional sectors decreased again year on year, the decline rate, at 1.7% was the lowest for several months. However, it is still too early to say whether this represents a flattening out of the market.


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