Latest Report on UK Jobs
The Report on UK Jobs is unique in providing the most comprehensive guide to the UK jobs market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies and employers to provide the first indication each month of labour market trends.
The main findings for December are:
Candidate availability continues to worsen…
Recruitment agencies signalled a further marked decline in the availability of candidates at the end of the year. The deterioration in permanent labour supply quickened since the previous month, while short-term staff numbers fell at a softer but still marked rate.
…leading to softer growth in permanent staff appointments
Low candidate supply weighed on permanent staff appointments during December. Though solid, the rate of expansion was the softest seen in 20 months. Temp billings meanwhile rose at a sharper rate, one that picked up from November’s joint 25-month low.
Demand for staff remains robust…
Vacancies rose for both permanent and temporary roles across the UK at the end of 2018. Notably, growth of demand for both types of worker was much stronger than seen on average over the survey’s 21-year history.
…but shrinking staff supply drives pay rates higher
As demand for workers generally outstripped supply, starting pay continued to increase sharply for both permanent and short-term workers in December. The rate of starting salary inflation was among the quickest seen for over three years, while temp pay growth also remained sharp by historical standards.
Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said: “A lack of work ready candidates is really beginning to bite UK businesses and the situation is worsening. Many of the UK’s main sectors are now struggling to hire staff. It really is a candidates market at the moment. A lot of people don’t want to move jobs right now because there is so much uncertainty around. In addition, the supply of EU citizens entering the UK for work is slowing whilst every sector continues to take on more staff. This means a near-record number of vacancies are going unfilled and talent gaps in industries like engineering, finance, and IT are opening up. December is always a bit of lean period in the jobs market but Brexit has amplified that effect. Consequently companies are having to offer increasingly attractive and creative packages to tempt new talent on board. If you aren’t looking forward to another year in your current job, now is a good time to go job hunting.”
Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive, said: “It’s no surprise that growth in new permanent jobs dropped to its lowest level in almost two years last month, because economic uncertainty is now affecting companies’ hiring plans. But the underlying strength of our labour market is still there – vacancies are high and temporary placements rose in the run-up to Christmas. There are opportunities out there for people who want to change job in 2019.”