Report on UK Jobs – January 2017

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 placements increase at softest pace in four months

January data signalled a further marked increase in permanent staff placements, despite the rate of growth easing to its slowest since September 2016.

Temp billings growth weakens slightly

Growth in temp billings remained sharp in January, in spite of the rate of expansion easing from December’s eight-month peak.

Candidate availability continues to tighten…

Recruitment agencies continued to signal a drop in candidate availability at the start of 2017. While permanent staff availability declined at a slightly faster rate, the drop in temp staff availability was the slowest in three months.

…contributing to further upward pressure on pay

Permanent staff starting salaries increased at a sharp and accelerated pace in January, with the rate of inflation the quickest in nine months. At the same time, growth in temp pay rates weakened from December’s seven-month record.

Commenting on the latest survey results, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:

“Employers are crying out for people to ll vacancies. Recruiters say that fewer candidates are available in all regions, and this is dampening jobs growth.”

“If businesses can’t find the people they need they will outsource abroad, automate activity or shut up shop, resulting in fewer jobs available to UK nationals.”

“The NHS is already in turmoil because it doesn’t have enough staff and the government’s decision to prioritise immigration control over the economy in their EU negotiations means that finding candidates will become yet more difficult in the future.”

“We agree that more can be done to encourage under-represented groups into work, including disabled people, single parents and older workers. But the idea that this will resolve the talent shortage is pie in the sky.”


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