Report on UK Jobs – October 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 October are:

Permanent and temporary placements rise solidly…

The amount of people placed in permanent roles increased for the third month running in October. Moreover, the rate of expansion quickened to the steepest recorded in eight months. Temporary/contract staff placements also rose at a faster pace at the start of the fourth quarter, with the rate of growth accelerating to a five-month high.

…as demand for staff improves further

The robust increase in staff appointments was supported by increased employee vacancies in the latest survey period. Furthermore, demand for both permanent and temporary staff was at the highest since May.

Stronger increase in salaries

Permanent staff starting salaries rose further in October, with the rate of increase picking up to its strongest for five months. Growth in hourly pay rates for temporary/contract staff meanwhile quickened slightly from September’s 40-month low, but remained relatively modest overall.

Further drop in candidate availability

The availability of permanent candidates continued to decline in October, and at a steeper rate than in September. Meanwhile, the availability of temporary/contract staff fell at the softest rate in four months.

Key points from the October survey:

  • Permanent placements growth reaches eight-month high as temp billings also rise at faster pace
  • Demand for both permanent and temporary candidates at its highest since May
  • Agencies report steeper decline in staff availability

Commenting on the latest survey results, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:

“Despite ongoing uncertainty the UK jobs market is thriving again in most areas of the UK. Job vacancies are back to levels not seen since April, and for the third consecutive month recruiters have reported an increase in the amount of people finding permanent jobs.”

“This is a great place to be but there are real threats coming over the hill. Candidate availability has been falling for three and a half years. There are more vacancies than there are people to fill them in many sectors, including engineering, construction and healthcare.”

“The government urgently needs to outline a strategy to address employability skills within UK education and promote apprenticeships and other routes into work. We also need immigration policies that reflect immediate labour market needs. Imposing new restrictions on people coming from abroad to fill vacancies will impact businesses’ ability to meet demand as well as the delivery of public services.”

“We need Britain to remain open for business. We can’t afford to see businesses relocate overseas, taking jobs with them and leaving us poorer as a nation.”


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