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 trends in the UK jobs market.
The main findings for October are:
Permanent placement growth eases but remains sharp
October data signalled a further strong rise in recruitment activity across the UK, with both permanent placements and temp billings rising steeply. That said, the rates of expansion were the softest seen for six months, as a number of recruiters mentioned that candidate shortages had weighed on their ability to fill roles.
Candidate shortages remain severe
The overall availability of staff declined again at the start of
the fourth quarter. The rate of deterioration eased further from August’s all-time record, but was nonetheless the fifth-sharpest seen since the survey began in October 1997. Reduced candidate availability was often linked to a combination of high demand for staff, general labour shortages, fewer foreign workers and hesitancy among employees to switch or seek out new roles.
Growth of demand for staff softens only slightly
Although growth of demand for staff slipped to a five-month low in October, it remained substantial overall and much quicker than the series average. Slower, but still strong, increases in vacancies were signalled for both permanent and temporary roles.
Starting pay inflation accelerates again in October
A combination of candidate scarcity and robust demand for staff added further upward pressure on rates of starting pay. Notably, both starting salaries and temp wages increased at the quickest rates seen in over 24 years of data collection, as companies offered higher pay to attract and secure staff.
Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO of the REC, said:
“This latest data shows the robust growth in the jobs market continuing. Starting salary growth has reached another record high as shortages continue to bite and companies compete to hire the staff they need. But we are starting to see signs that we are moving into a new phase of the recovery, as the initial bounce back in demand starts to ease. It’s also important to note that these salary rises are not universal. Recruiters tell us that candidates in some sectors and regions have been able to secure a substantial pay rise, but many employers can’t afford to offer this. As we move into the next stage of recovery, it’s vital the government put measures in place that will help companies to invest and grow, stimulate the UK’s productivity and support the levers that help those furthest from the jobs market into work. Last week’s Budget was a start, but there needs to be a radical shift across government departments to collaborate in order to deliver a skills revolution in the UK. This will only be successful if government and business work together to plan for future workforce needs. Recruiters are keen to work with government in such a joint forum.”