Report on UK Jobs – May 2015

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 May are:

Permanent placements growth eases…

Permanent staff placements continued to rise in May. However, the rate of expansion moderated to a four-month low. This mirrored an easing in growth of available vacancies for permanent staff, with the latest increase the slowest in 2015 so far.

…but temp billings rise at faster pace

Agencies’ billings from the employment of temporary/contract staff increased further in May. The rate of growth in short-term appointments was strong, having quickened since April.

Salary growth cools, but still strong…

Starting salaries for people placed into permanent jobs increased further in May. Although easing from April’s nine-month high, the rate of growth remained strong overall. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates rose further, albeit at the slowest pace since January.

…as candidate availability remains tight

Recruitment consultants reported continued difficulties regarding the availability of suitable staff for permanent roles in May. Although easing slightly since April, the rate of deterioration in permanent staff availability remained marked. Temp availability also fell sharply, with the latest drop the fastest in seven months.

Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner at KPMG, said:

“The UK job market saw a slight slowdown in May, as those on boards took time to digest the election result and work out the ramifications for their business. This pause did not dampen temporary staff placements, and temp billings rose for a twenty-fifth consecutive month.”

“Growth in the services sector continued to outpace that of Britain’s heavy industries, with the former seeing a significantly stronger appetite for new hires
to keep up with the volume of new orders coming in. These statistics will add more weight to the fears that the economy is not rebalancing as hoped, and are a worrying reminder of the recovery’s reliance on the performance of the white collar service sector.”

“While elements of the private sector are thriving, the public sector continues to suffer, with pay growth rising by just 0.2% in the last reported quarter. This stagnation is in stark contrast with the pay awards seen in Britain’s businesses, whose staff saw average rises of 2.4%, driven by the booming service sector. With the Government’s continued focus on austerity, this imbalance is unlikely to be readdressed in the near future.”