Report on UK Jobs – September 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 September are:

Slower rise in permanent placements…

Recruitment consultants signalled a further increase in permanent staff placements during September. Although strong, the rate of growth eased to a ten-month low.

…but temp billings increase at faster rate

Agencies’ temporary/contract staff billings rose at a strong and accelerated pace in September. The latest expansion was the seventeenth in as many months.

Candidate availability falls further…

Tight candidate availability persisted in September, with marked declines in both permanent and temporary staff supply signalled.

…maintaining upward pressure on pay

Growth of permanent staff salaries remained strong in September, despite easing to a four-month low. Hourly pay rates for temporary/contract workers rose at the fastest pace since November 2007.


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

“Buoyancy is back in British businesses, with low and falling unemployment evident today and the promise of lower corporation tax rates, tomorrow. Combine the two and it would be easy to assume that the only curve we will see is an upward one, yet there are still areas of the UK where the signs suggest we are not quite ready to turn the corner. Youth unemployment is, for example, still too high and the next few months will be a critical test of how businesses can help get the new generation of workers onto the employment ladder.”

“It won’t be easy as the latest figures suggest that as many organisations come to the end of their financial year, purse strings have been tightened and recruitment decisions are put off until new budgets are agreed. With permanent placements slowing to a ten month low, perhaps the uncertainty caused by political crises across the globe are beginning to affect decision-makers’ confidence.”

“At the same time wages continue to dominate debate around the strength of the labour market. Starting salaries might look healthy, and are undoubtedly tempting some people to move, but the reality is that employers will soon reach a ceiling beyond which they won’t be able to throw more cash around to land the right candidate. It also seems that the incentive for taking on temporary roles is strengthening as pay packets improve, and if the cost of living continues to rise as expected, we may yet see candidates forced to choose between securing financial rewards in short bursts or long-term security. As we enter the tail end of the year, the hope must be that this is a short-term blip, rather than heralding a winter of discontent.”