Report on UK Jobs – September 2012

The Report on UK Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG LLP.
The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date monthly picture of recruitment, employment, staff availability and employee earnings trends available.

Key points from September survey:

  • Permanent appointments down only fractionally
  • Second month of growth in temp billings puts it at 14-month high
  • Demand for staff increases at stronger rate Nursing/Medical/Care remains most in-demand staffing sector
  • Pay growth remains muted amid rising candidate availability

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

“It must be hugely encouraging for job seekers to see figures suggesting that demand for staff is on the increase, particularly as the data now shows a 13-month high. Add to this news that permanent roles are stabilising and temporary positions have seen another month of growth and it would be easy to assume that the corner is being turned.

“However, the jobs market cannot be viewed in isolation as any sustainable improvement
in employment remains dependent on the growth of the economy as a whole. Whilst some parts of the country may be showing signs of recovery, others are lagging behind and until an upward trajectory is seen across the whole of the UK, the jobs market will remain fragile with warnings to ‘handle with care’.

“If we are to see sustained growth in employment demand, we need to get growth back into the economy itself. That is why the picture remains fragile, and a jobs recovery is by no means assured.”

The Report on Jobs is unique in providing the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour 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:

Permanent placements broadly stable; faster rise in temp billings

The rate of decline in permanent placements moderated to near-stagnation in September, with only a fractional fall recorded. Agencies’ billings from the employment of temporary/contract staff rose for the second month running, with the rate of expansion quickening to a 14-month high.

Demand for staff strengthens

Job vacancies continued to increase in September, with the rate of growth accelerating to a 13-month high. Stronger expansions were signalled for both permanent and temporary workers.

Candidate availability rises further

Growth of permanent staff availability was recorded for the fifth consecutive month in September, albeit at the slowest pace since May. Temporary staff availability continued to rise at a solid rate.

Slight increase in staff pay

Although pay increased for both permanent and temporary staff in September, in both cases the rate of inflation was only marginal.