Report on UK Jobs – October 2012

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.

Key points from the October survey:

  • Permanent appointments increase for first time since May
  • Growth of temp billings accelerates to 18-month high
  • Sharpest rise in job vacancies since June 2011
  • Nursing/Medical/Care staff remain most in-demand
  • Further weak pay growth recorded

Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said:

“Employment figures received a boost across the US and it seems that the UK is following America’s lead. The latest figures show increasing numbers of people are finding work across the UK in both temporary and permanent positions. That alone is good news, but in the context of jobs being filled at the fastest rate for nearly 18 months, we seem to be stepping in the right direction – something that was barely thought possible just a few short months ago. It may not be leaps and bounds yet, in terms of progress, but these are the largest strides for some time and should not go un-noticed.

“There were also concerns that the Olympic employment effect was a temporary blip on a gloomy horizon, but with London and other regions across the country now seeing a broad growth of permanent placements, indications are that employers are gaining in confidence and laying the foundation stones for economic growth. Of course, no one should be under any illusions that a strong jobs market indicates a strong recovery, but confidence is what drives a buoyant market and the hope must be that businesses are ready to recruit for the long-term.

“It should, however, come as little surprise that demand for staff is low in the public sector. At least this is being partially off-set with the data showing that private sector workers are seeing a further rise in demand for their services. Perhaps as we edge towards the end of 2012, businesses really can start to look forward to a better new year.”

Permanent placements rise at marked rate

Appointments of permanent staff increased for the first time since May, and at the fastest rate in 17 months. Higher placements were supported by a stronger expansion of job vacancies.

Temp billings growth at 18-month high

Short-term staff billings increased for the third month running in October. Moreover, the rate of growth accelerated to the sharpest for one-and-a-half years.

Pay growth remains muted

Permanent staff salaries rose for a sixth successive month in October, albeit only slightly. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff increased marginally for the second month running.

Slight rise in candidate availability

The availability of permanent staff continued to rise in October, although the rate of growth eased to a five-month low and was modest overall. Temporary/contract staff availability increased at the weakest rate in the current 55-month period of growth.