The Report on 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 May are:
Permanent placements and temp billings both rise
The number of people placed in permanent jobs continued to increase in May, with the rate of expansion quickening to a six- month high. Temp billings also rose following a drop in April.
Further expansion of job vacancies
Demand for staff rose further in May. Although easing to a nine-month low, the rate of growth remained solid. Private sector vacancies continued to show a stronger trend than public sector roles.
Modest pay growth
Permanent staff salaries continued to rise in May, although the latest increase was only modest and the weakest in seven months. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates also rose, with the rate of growth quickening slightly since April.
Slight fall in permanent staff availability
The availability of candidates to fill permanent job vacancies declined in May, albeit only marginally. Temporary/contract staff availability meanwhile rose slightly.
Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said: “It looks as if months of rhetoric are finally becoming a reality. With permanent placements hitting a six-month high it seems that private sector jobs are boosting the chances of economic growth. The latest figures certainly give the strongest indication for some time that the jobs market is on an upward trajectory. However the pay off seems to be a slow-down in salary growth as new starters’ pay has slowed to its lowest level since the turn of the year. In other words, as employers look to stabilise and prepare for a more positive economic environment, their message to employees remains one of caution. Right now it’s a position most will accept as, with uncertainty still the watch-word, the preference for permanent positions will undoubtedly outweigh moves for more money. Given the desire for job security, it is also no surprise that fewer candidates are making themselves available to recruiters. Until that changes we are likely to see demand for skilled staff remain high. It’s a real catch-22 situation, but one for which a solution will be at hand if the economy continues to show signs of improvement.”