Report on UK Jobs – June 2014


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 UK jobs in June are:

Record fall in permanent staff availability in June…

The latest survey of UK recruitment consultancies indicated a considerable reduction in the availability of staff to fill permanent roles. The rate of contraction accelerated to the sharpest seen in the survey history, which began in October 1997. Temporary/contract staff also recorded a sharp deterioration in availability, with June’s drop the greatest seen since March 1998.

…helps drive starting salaries up at series record pace…

Amid reports of a short supply of suitable candidates, and with demand for staff increasing, permanent salaries rose during June at a survey record rate. Salaries have now risen for twenty-six months in succession. Moreover, temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates rose at the sharpest rate since November 2007.

…as demand for staff continues to grow…

Latest vacancy data indicated faster increases in the demand for both permanent and temporary staff during June. Growth was led by the private sector, with demand here continuing to rise at a rate that comfortably outstripped those seen in the public sector.

…and placements rise

As companies sought to efficiently fill vacancies, permanent placements continued to increase during June. Although remaining sharp by historical standards, the rate of growth was the lowest seen since last November. Temporary/contract staff billings in contrast increased at the sharpest pace for five months.

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

“Once again employers seem ready to ‘splash the cash’ in what appears to be a desperate attempt to lure skilled staff from competitors. Yet despite offering starting salaries at a rate that has not been seen during the survey’s 17 year lifetime, it is clear that candidates are not easily swayed. As consumers they may be facing rising house prices and struggling to build financial reserves because of low interest rates, but the desire for extra disposable income is not yet translating into a generation of employees who are only loyal to their monthly pay cheque.”

“It’s a message employers would do well to take to heart as, although many might argue that by offering higher pay packets, they are showing market confidence, the truth is that continued starting salary growth is unrealistic and unsustainable over the long term. Ultimately candidates are also suggesting this by voting with their feet, because we have also just witnessed the biggest fall in candidate availability for 17 years. Perhaps this means that the productivity gap is being replaced with another chasm – a vacancy vacuum – and one that is unlikely to be resolved until employers recognise that, for staff, remuneration is about much more than take home pay.”