Report on UK Jobs – November 22

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:

Permanent placements fall for second month in a row

Latest survey data indicated that candidate shortages and uncertainty around the economic outlook dampened recruitment during November. Permanent placements fell for the second successive month, albeit at a softer rate than that seen in October. Meanwhile, temp billings rose modestly after broadly stagnating in the previous month.

Growth of demand for staff continues to moderate

Overall demand for workers expanded at the softest rate since February 2021 during November. While temporary vacancies continued to expand more sharply than that seen for permanent roles, in both cases the increases were the slowest seen for 21 months and below their respective long-run trends.

Softest increase in permanent starters’ salaries in 19 months

Although pay pressures remained historically elevated during November, the latest survey indicated that rates of inflation for both starting salaries and temp wages eased further. The latest increase in permanent starters’ pay was the least marked since April 2021, while temp pay growth moderated to an 18-month low. Higher rates of pay were generally linked to competition for workers and the rising cost of living.

Candidate supply declines at slowest rate since April 2021

The overall availability of workers continued to deteriorate during November, and at a steeper pace than seen on average since the survey began 25 years ago. Tight labour market conditions, fewer foreign workers and a greater hesitancy among people to take up new roles due to increased economic uncertainty all dampened candidate numbers, according to recruiters. However, the latest fall was the weakest recorded for just over a year-and-a-half amid softer declines in both permanent and temporary staff supply.

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

“Of particular note this month is the softer rise in permanent starters’ salaries, with the rate of pay inflation easing to a 19-month low in November. This reflects the combined effects of employers reining in recruitment, candidate availability continuing to decline, and workers staying put for job security. So despite the cost of living pressures that households are enduring and the industrial relations impasse within many sectors, wage growth may well be trending down in the months ahead. Employers who are able to offer existing workers and candidates opportunities to upskill and reskill, rather than focusing solely on core pay, may well benefit most in this tight jobs market.”