REC & KPMG Report on Jobs published
The report provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
Slower but still marked growth of staff appointments
The number of people placed in permanent and temporary/contract roles continued to rise in November. Rates of expansion remained strong in both cases, despite easing to five-month lows.
Vacancies rise at strongest rate in over 15 years
Overall demand for staff increased at a faster pace in November. Growth was the sharpest since July 1998. Private sector demand for staff continued to show a much stronger trend than public sector demand.
Permanent salaries increase at fastest pace in six years...
Growth of permanent staff salaries accelerated further, reaching the strongest rate since November 2007. Temporary/contract staff pay rose at a solid pace that was sharper than in October.
...as decline in candidate availability gathers pace
The availability of candidates to fill permanent roles fell further in November, with the rate of decline quickening to the sharpest since July 2007. Temporary/contract staff availability meanwhile fell at the fastest pace in nine years.
Regional and sector variation
All four monitored English regions posted increases in permanent placements, with the Midlands continuing to register the fastest growth.
The Midlands led a broad-based expansion of temporary/contract staff billings during November.
Private sector demand for staff remained stronger than public sector demand, according to the latest data.
The strongest growth was signalled for permanent workers in the private sector, although temporary/contract staff also posted a marked increase. In the public sector, however, rates of expansion were slight for both permanent and short-term workers.
Growth of demand was broad-based across all nine types of permanent staff monitored by the survey in November. The strongest rate of expansion was signalled for Engineering workers, as was the case in October. Close behind was Nursing/Medical/Care.
All nine categories of temporary/contract staff registered increased demand levels in November. The fastest rate of growth was indicated for Blue Collar workers, closely followed by Engineering employees. The slowest rise was signalled for Construction staff.
REC CEO Kevin Green, said, “We enter the New Year with job vacancies increasing at the fastest pace in 15 years. The fact that our figures show starting salary growth hitting a six year high, combined with continued skill and talent shortages, indicates that we can expect salaries to increase and job fluidity to accelerate into 2014.
“Report on Jobs show that all sectors, all regions and both the private and public sector are in growth, which is fantastic news for British businesses, the UK economy and people looking for work in 2014.”
Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, commented, “Six months ago – after almost five years of pain – most employers were wondering just how real the signs of recovery were. But people have short memories and, if the latest recruitment figures are anything to go by, they may well now be wondering what all the fuss was about. Business certainly seems to be more confident because, as 2013 draws to a close, organisations across the UK are maintaining their recruitment drive to the point that the rate of growth in vacancies has reached a 15 year high.
“Of course, it is never that simple. The opportunities may exist but employees don’t seem keen to take them, with the proportion of candidates making themselves available falling at the sharpest rate for six years. It may be that people are still worried about job security but it is more likely that we are seeing a return of the traditional winter slowdown in recruitment as staff are more focused on Christmas than careers. As a result employers are trying to tempt top talent to change jobs by offering more in the way of cash or incentives. It’s a tactic that may bring short-term success, but the risk of falsely inflating the jobs market must be considered. Left unchecked, it could put unnecessary and unsustainable pressure on businesses just at the time their cash flow problems are easing.”