Report on UK Jobs – January 2018

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 labour market trends.

The main findings for January are:

Sharper increase in permanent placements…

Recruitment consultants signalled a marked rise in permanent staff placements in January, with the rate of expansion the joint-steepest since April 2015. In contrast, growth in temp billings softened to a ten-month low, but was sharp overall.

…supported by further marked increase in job vacancies

Overall demand for staff continued to rise sharply in January, despite growth of demand softening to a 13-month low. Notably, both permanent and temporary staff vacancies continued to rise at historically marked rates.

Starting salary inflation quickens to 31-month record…

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates increased at the fastest pace for over two-and-a-half years at the start of 2018. Meanwhile, growth in temp pay eased to the joint-weakest in ten months, but remained sharp overall.

…amid steep drop in candidate availability

The number of candidates available to fulfil permanent and temporary roles continued to contract at historically sharp rates in January. This was despite rates of contraction softening slightly in both cases compared to December.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive says:

“We are seeing a continued rise in jobs filled via recruiters as it gets more challenging for businesses to find candidates. The UK has almost full employment and the country is plagued by labour, skills and talent shortages. This increasing competition for good quality staff is driving up starting salaries with employers willing to pay higher wages to attract the right people. So, it’s a good time to move jobs, especially as employers aren’t increasing wages for their existing workforce.”

“It’s reassuring that demand for permanent staff remains strong despite the economic uncertainties. However, there is a slight slowdown in the growth of temporary placements. This could be an early sign that employers are hesitating.”

“The struggle to find appropriate candidates will get worse. We are therefore asking for a balanced and evidence-based immigration system. Businesses urgently need to invest in the upskilling of their workforce. The government can help by turning the Apprenticeship Levy into a broader training levy. It’s time they put the concerns of UK businesses at the top of their agenda.”