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 February are:
Stronger growth of permanent staff placements
Growth in permanent placements picked up from January’s recent low to reach a one-year high in February. In contrast, temp billings increased at the softest pace in four months.
Demand for staff reaches 18-month peak
Job vacancies continued to increase in February. Overall, demand for staff rose at the quickest rate in one-and-a-half years, with both permanent and temporary workers seeing faster increases.
Candidate availability declines at faster pace
The availability of staff to fill job vacancies declined sharply in February. Both permanent and short-term candidate supply deteriorated and to a greater extent than at the start of the year, with the former noting the steepest rate of reduction.
Sharper increase in salaries
Starting salaries for candidates placed into permanent roles increased at the quickest pace since March 2016 in February. Meanwhile, temp pay growth picked up slightly from January and was the second-fastest seen in nine months.
Commenting on the latest survey results, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:
“Although permanent placements have hit a 12 month high, businesses across the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit for permanent roles. The big question still remains about how employers will fill their vacancies.”
“The Chancellor is expected to announce a boost for vocational training in today’s budget and this is very welcome. However, it won’t solve the immediate need for people to fill jobs. We’re already seeing acute staff shortages in a variety of sectors, from healthcare to engineering. This is likely to get worse, especially if the Government continues to refuse the rights of EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit.
“On the flip-side, this is a good time for individuals prepared to move jobs, with bumper pay offers on the table as hirers compete to secure the talent available. In the context of rising inflation and stagnating pay growth, changing employers is becoming a more attractive option for those looking for more money.”