Report on UK Jobs – November 2021

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 November are:

Steeper increase in permanent staff appointments

Robust demand for workers and efforts to fill vacancies drove a further strong increase in hiring activity during November. Permanent placements rose at a sharper rate than in October, the fifth-quickest on record, and one that continued to outpace that seen for temp billings.

Vacancy growth slips to six-month low, but remains robust

Demand for staff continued to rise rapidly across the UK in November. This was despite the rate of expansion slipping to a six-month low. Underlying data indicated that both permanent and temporary vacancies increased at slightly softer rates compared to October.

Softest decline in total candidate supply since May

Latest data indicated that the downturn in candidate availability eased to its weakest since May during November. Nonetheless,
the rate of decline remained substantial and among the quickest since data collection began in late 1997. Slower, but still rapid, falls were signalled for both permanent and temporary candidates, with recruiters often linking this to continued uncertainty around the pandemic, greater demand for staff and Brexit.

Permanent starters’ salaries rise at unprecedented rate

Low candidate numbers and efforts to attract and secure workers drove further steep increases in pay for both permanent joiners and temporary staff in November. Furthermore, the rate of starting salary inflation accelerated to a fresh series high, while temp pay softened only slightly from October’s all-time record.

Commenting on the latest survey results, Claire Warnes, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, said:

“The confidence of businesses to hire remains reassuringly robust. We’ve seen nine months of growth in permanent placements and rising vacancies for the past 10 months as the economy bounces back. The data points to a strong end to the year, but that hunger to expand could be tested as the jobs market becomes ever tighter. The pace of demand for workers is running far faster than supply can keep up with, which is draining an already diminished pool of available talent and feeding into inflationary pressures. The current trajectory is unsustainable in the long run for businesses and the wider economic recovery. The priority must be to replenish the workforce and ensure businesses can access the talent they need. That means equipping job seekers with the skills that employers and new industries are looking for, increasing labour market flexibility and improving transport links. In the meantime, businesses need to have one eye on cost pressures and the other on attracting and retaining talent – no easy feat given the intense jobs market. Many will be looking to the new year – a traditional time for job seekers to begin searching for new opportunities – to fill gaps in resource.”


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