Report on UK Jobs – October 2017

The Report on UK Jobs is unique in providing the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour 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 October are:

Staff appointments expand at softer pace

Growth in permanent staff placements remained robust at the start of the final quarter of 2017, despite the rate of increase edging down to a six-month low. Temp billings also rose at the softest pace since April, though growth remained comfortably above the survey average.

Growth of demand for staff remains sharp despite edging down

Staff vacancies rose sharply for permanent and temporary roles during October. This was despite growth of demand softening for the second successive month across both categories.

Availability of candidates continues to decline sharply…

October data pointed to a further marked decline in the availability of temporary and permanent workers, with the latter noting the steeper rate of reduction.

…leading to further increase in pay rates

A sustained upturn in demand for staff and lower candidate availability led to further increases in pay. Starting salaries rose sharply overall, with the rate of inflation quickening to its second-strongest since November 2015. In contrast, temp pay rates rose at a pace that, though marked, was the weakest since March.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive says:

“Last month, recruiters helped even more people find permanent jobs – this is great news as it shows that employers are continuing to hire. However, the data also shows that growth is slowing down and one of the reasons is that we simply do not have enough people for all the roles that are out there at the moment. And the number of vacancies is still getting higher.”

“For jobseekers this is good news as employers are willing to pay higher starting wages to attract the right candidates.”

“We already know that EU workers are leaving because of the uncertainties they are facing right now. We therefore need clarity around what future immigration systems will look like. Otherwise, the situation will get worse and employers will face even more staff shortages.”