It's a Candidate's Market - November's UK Employment Report

November sees weaker growth in staff appointments

Key findings: -
 

  • Softer increases in permanent placements and temp billings
  • Vacancy growth edges down to 25-month low
  • Steeper decline in candidate supply

The main findings for November are:

Slower rise in staff appointments

Permanent placements and temporary billings both increased at softer rates in November. Though strong, the upturn in permanent staff appointments was the second-weakest since October 2017, while temp billings expanded at the joint-weakest rate for just over two years.

Vacancy growth edges down to 25-month low

Though elevated by historical standards, the overall rate of vacancy growth edged down to the least marked for just over two years in November. This was driven by a slightly softer increase in permanent job openings, as temp vacancies rose at a fractionally faster pace.

Candidate availability continues to tighten...

The overall availability of staff continued to decline sharply in November. This was despite the rate of reduction easing to the weakest since March, helped by softer falls in the supply of both permanent and temporary candidates.

...leading to further upward pressure on pay

Tight labour market conditions and greater competition for workers led to further marked rises in pay for both permanent and temporary staff. Notably, temporary wages increased at the quickest rate since July 2007. Permanent starting salaries meanwhile rose at one of the sharpest rates seen in the past three-and-a-half years.

Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive Neil Carberry said: “Today’s report backs up what recruiters across the country are saying to us. Fewer people are willing to change employer and look for jobs in this uncertain climate, despite rising pay and jobs being available. Sectors like hospitality and warehousing are facing particular challenges in the run-up to Christmas.”

Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said:

“Despite the uncertainty around Brexit, companies are still recruiting. It’s very much a candidates market at the moment and demand for workers is driving a sharp increase in starting salaries. It’s been getting harder and harder for firms to find good staff and with UK immigration policy likely to tighten, this trend isn’t going to get any easier. “Concerns about a no deal Brexit are putting a handbrake on the supply of candidates as the value of job security and stability shoot up people’s personal agendas. However, candidates who are prepared to take a chance and job hop can often bag a pay rise as a result. This is especially apparent in sectors like IT, engineering, hospitality and finance where quality candidates now come at a sizeable premium."

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.

Mosaic Search and Selection Ltd contribute market data to this Report on Jobs which is a monthly publication produced by Markit and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG LLP.  The full copy of this report is available from Markit.

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