Report on UK Jobs – January 2014


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 January are:

Further sharp rises in permanent placements and temp billings

Permanent staff placements continued to increase strongly in January, although the pace of expansion eased from the 45-month high recorded in December. Similarly, temp billings rose at a rate only marginally slower than December’s 15-year peak.

Strongest growth of demand for staff since May 1998

Overall job vacancies rose at a sharp and accelerated rate in January. The pace of expansion was the fastest in over fifteen-and-a-half years.

Permanent salaries continue to increase markedly…

The rate of growth of permanent staff salaries remained elevated at the start of 2014, holding at a pace broadly in line with December’s six-year peak.

…amid declining availability of candidates

Further falls in staff availability were signalled in January. Both permanent and temporary candidate numbers declined at marked rates, albeit the slowest in three months.

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

“Employer confidence continues to grow, with the thirst for new staff hitting a fifteen-and-a- half year high in January. In a week showing improvements to UK construction figures and growth across the Eurozone manufacturing industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if other sectors begin to report peaks in performance. Yet no one should be fooled into thinking that the road ahead will be easy to travel. Earlier this week markets across the globe fell as investors were rattled by weak data. It’s unlikely to herald a crisis, but should serve to ensure employers remain vigilant to business threats. The warning has been noted by employees because, although jobs are being created, January saw another decline in the number of people putting themselves on the jobs market. The preference seems to be for temporary roles, suggesting that employees are adopting a ‘try before you buy’ mentality before committing to long-term roles.”