Report on UK Jobs – July 2016

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 July are:

Permanent placements fall at steeper rate…

The number of people placed in permanent roles decreased for a second successive month in July. Moreover, the rate of contraction accelerated to the sharpest since May 2009, with panellists frequently citing Brexit-related uncertainty. A particularly marked impact was reported by consultancies based in London.

…while temp billings growth eases further

Temporary/contract staff billings continued to rise in July, with some panellists indicating that clients had shifted focus towards short-term staff amid an uncertain economic climate. However, the latest increase in billings was the weakest in ten months.

Permanent salaries rise at slowest rate in over three years

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates increased further in July. That said, the rate of growth eased to a 38-month low. Temporary/contract staff pay meanwhile rose at the slowest rate since February.

Candidate availability remains tight

Permanent staff availability continued to fall in July. The rate of decline eased to the slowest since October 2013, although remained marked overall. Temporary/contract staff availability meanwhile decreased at the sharpest pace since February.


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

“The UK jobs market suffered a dramatic free fall in July, with permanent hiring dropping to levels not seen since the recession of 2009. Demand for staff remains strong with vacancies continuing to rise, but the sharp fall in placements suggests that businesses are highly cautious about committing to new hires. Economic turbulence following the vote to leave the EU is undoubtedly the root cause.”

“The record-high employment rate and ongoing skill shortages have made it difficult for employers to find suitable candidates for the roles available in the past, and this remains the case. We’re now seeing the added problem of individuals deciding to stay put rather than change jobs in the current environment.”

“While there are worrying signs, it’s important we don’t jump to conclusions from one month’s data. The truth is we don’t know what long term consequences the referendum result will have on UK jobs; with the political situation becoming more stable and the Bank of England making sensible decisions, we may well see confidence return to the jobs market more quickly than anticipated.”

What’s your experience? As a Hiring Manager are you finding it more or less difficult to find the people you need? If you’re in the process of changing jobs, what does the market look like to you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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