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Permanent placements up 3% in January 2019, APSCo reveals

Professional recruitment firms reported that demand for permanent talent fell by 3% year-on-year in January 2019, while vacancies for contingent workers decreased by 2% over the same period, according to new survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).   

Despite this overall decline in demand, APSCo’s data does reveal pockets of positivity, most notably within the engineering sector, where vacancies for permanent workers rose by 16%. This, however contrasts demand for contract workers within engineering, which dipped by 20%.

Despite an overall dip in demand for talent, permanent placements increased by 3% in January 2019. This overall strength can be firmly attributed to a significant 13% year-on-year increase in temporary placements within finance. However, when compared to contract placements within the sector, placements dipped by 8%.

While permanent placements increased 2% in the year to January 2019, the number of contractors out on assignment dipped by 5% during the same period. Use of contingent workers fell across every one of APSCo’s core sectors, with the exception of financial services.  

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all core professional sectors remained stable in January 2019, rising by 2.4% across the board. Average salaries within many of APSCo’s core sectors, however, increased more significantly. Within financial services, for example, average salaries rose by 7% year-on-year. In marketing, meanwhile, salaries are up by 4.3% over the same period.  

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, commented, “Despite repeated warnings that the UK economy is at risk of shrinking while Brexit looms on the horizon, GDP growth continues to defy expectations. This resilience is also reflected in the employment market, with the ONS reporting in April that the number of people in work has once again hit a record high. The professional sectors our members represent are no exception, with permanent placements increasing by 4% year-on-year in April.”

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