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 January are:
Permanent placement growth picks up in January
UK recruiters signalled a further increase in permanent staff appointments in January amid reports of improved business confidence following the general election. Though modest, the rate of growth was the quickest recorded for just over a year. In contrast, temp billings fell for the first time since April 2013, with a number of recruiters blaming this on upcoming changes to IR35 legislation.
Vacancy growth improves to ten-month high
Overall staff vacancies rose at the quickest pace for ten months in January, with growth largely driven by improved demand for permanent workers. Notably, permanent staff vacancies expanded at the steepest rate since last March, while growth of demand for short-term workers was unchanged from December.
Starting pay increases at softer pace…
Latest data signalled softer increases in starting pay for both permanent and temporary workers in January. Though solid, the latest upturn in permanent starting salaries was the slowest for three-and-a-half years. Temp wage inflation was meanwhile among the softest recorded since late-2016.
…despite further marked drop in candidate supply
Slower rises in starting pay occurred despite a further sharp fall in candidate supply. Although the drop in permanent worker availability eased slightly at the start of 2020, the reduction in temp staff numbers was the most marked since last June.
Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said:
“Following the UK exit of the EU, there are promising signs that the UK jobs market is finally on the up with the strongest rise in permanent places for over a year – good news for job hunters. However, with regulatory and trade negotiations all to play for, there is still a long way to go for a deal to be struck and businesses to have the clarity they need. Brexit is unchartered territory so the reality is the uncertainty will linger, but key investment decisions on hiring need to be made to build confidence and help get the UK back on the path to growth.”