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 UK jobs market trends.

The main findings for January are:

Permanent placements rise at faster pace

Recruitment consultants reported a slight acceleration in growth of permanent staff placements during January, and to a rate above the survey’s long-run average. However, agencies’ temporary/contract staff billings rose at the slowest pace in four months.

Stronger growth of demand for staff

January data signalled a further increase in vacancies, with the pace of expansion picking up to a five-month high. Demand for permanent staff continued to rise at a faster pace than that signalled for short-term workers.

Candidate availability falls, albeit at slower rate

The availability of staff for both permanent and temporary contract roles continued to decline in January. Rates of contraction remained marked, despite easing to the slowest for 12 and three months respectively.

Salary growth eases

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates rose further in January, but the rate of growth eased to a 27-month low. Temporary/contract staff pay rose at the slowest pace since October 2013.

Commenting on the latest survey results, REC chief executive Kevin Green, said:

“The jobs market has started 2016 with a bang – our latest data shows strong growth in demand for staff and in permanent placements. Professional service jobs are among those leading the way, with marketing and commercial roles especially in demand as businesses seek to make the most of the good economic climate.

“It’s not all good news. Organisations in sectors such as construction and manufacturing are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit due to entrenched skill shortages. The healthcare sector is also a source of concern. A severe shortage of nurses is being exacerbated by the government cutting pay for temporary doctors and nurses. We believe that patient safety may be compromised as some NHS trusts struggle to staff wards.

“The other factor which may create uncertainty in the jobs market is the EU referendum, which now looks likely to happen in June.”