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 March are:
Staff placements continue to rise strongly…
March survey data highlighted further marked growth of recruitment activity across the UK. Permanent staff placements rose at a rate unchanged from February’s considerable pace, while temp billings growth was only slightly slower than the five-month high recorded in the preceding period.
…supported by robust demand for staff
The survey’s index of job vacancies rose to a five-month high in March, signalling strong demand for staff. Marked rates of expansion were indicated for both permanent and short-term workers.
Salary growth fastest in six months…
Average starting salaries for people placed in permanent job roles increased further in March. The latest increase was the strongest since last September. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff rose at a robust pace, albeit slightly slower than in February.
…amid falling candidate availability
The availability of staff to fill vacancies continued to decline in March. The latest drop in permanent candidate supply was the sharpest in four months, while temp availability deteriorated at the fastest pace since last October.
Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said:
“Recruiters are struggling with industry-wide skills shortages, as demand for talent continues to outstrip the number of candidates seeking work. This pervasive skills shortage could put the brakes on economic growth if it continues unabated. Nervousness in the run up to the election could be one factor seizing the market, as candidates seek certainty before leaving the safe haven of their current role. This tightening labour market is forcing up wage inflation as businesses bid for the best talent. Such a trend could cause a two-tier pay market, creating a significant divide between highly paid new starters and current employees receiving subdued pay increases. This dynamic will cause businesses problems in the long term as they struggle to keep hold of talented staff increasingly dissatisfied by their remuneration packages.”