Report on UK Jobs – May 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 UK Jobs market trends.

The main findings for May are:

Steepest drop in permanent staff availability for 161⁄2 years…

The availability of candidates to fill permanent roles fell further in May. Moreover, the rate of deterioration accelerated to the sharpest since November 1997. Temporary/contract staff availability was also down markedly, with the latest drop only slightly slower than April’s 13-year record.

…contributes to robust pay growth

Although easing slightly from April’s 81-month high, the rate of growth in permanent salaries remained considerable in May. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates meanwhile rose at the fastest pace since December 2007.

Staff placements continue to increase at marked pace…

Permanent placements growth remained marked in May, despite moderating slightly since the previous month. Temporary/contract staff billings also rose strongly, with the rate of expansion quickening from April’s ten-month low.

…supported by strongly rising vacancies

Overall demand for staff continued to increase at a marked rate in May, although the pace of growth eased to a five-month low. Permanent vacancies again rose slightly faster than temporary/contract roles.

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

“Trying to fill vacancies in the current climate must feel like wandering through a hall of mirrors for the UK’s employers. No sooner are they in a position to reflect the improving economy by creating roles and offering tempting salaries, than the search for talent seems to reach a dead end, with candidates either preferring to hide in the shadows or failing to offer the appropriate skills.”

“The latest figures also suggest that employees want more from their workplace than better pay and better benefits. Even though starting salaries continue to rise, job seekers are sending out a very clear message that remuneration is not the only reward they are after. With candidate availability at its lowest point for almost 17 years, individuals are saying that prospective employers are going to need to widen their offer to tempt top talent to move. It could mean that we have finally reached a point where employers have to consider reshaping roles, working arrangements and their own expectations or risk being caught out by an endless cycle of unfilled roles and unfulfilled workers struggling to cope with increasing workloads.”