Stong Demand for Staff and Competition for Scarce Candidates - Sept UK Employment Report

Starting salaries rise at fastest rate since April 2015, as candidate availability drops further

Key points from the September survey:

  • Starting salaries rise sharply amid steep reduction in candidate supply
  • Permanent placements expand at slightly weaker pace
  • Vacancy growth softens to near two-year low, but remains strong

The main findings for July are:

Permanent placements growth softens...

Permanent staff appointments continued to rise at the end of the third quarter, albeit at a softer pace. Nonetheless, growth remained sharp in the context of historical data. In contrast, temp billings expanded at a slightly quicker pace compared to August.

 ...as candidate availability drops further

Recruitment consultants reported continued difficulties regarding the availability of staff for both permanent and temporary roles. Although easing since August, the rate of deterioration in permanent staff availability remained historically sharp. Temp labour supply also fell sharply, with the latest drop the fastest for ten months.

Starting salary inflation reaches 41-month peak...

Starting salaries for people placed into permanent jobs increased at the quickest pace since April 2015 during September. Hourly rates of pay for temp staff also rose at a faster pace than in the preceding month.

 ...as demand for staff remains strong

September data pointed to a further rise in job vacancies for both permanent and temporary roles. The rate of growth in staff demand was sharp overall, albeit the weakest seen for nearly two years.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive at the REC says:

“UK businesses are resilient, but they’re struggling to find the people they need to drive growth and opportunity. Recruiters’ specialist skills help to address this, but with Brexit looming a comprehensive mobility deal with the EU will be needed to underpin prosperity. Higher skills investment, driven by a reformed apprenticeship levy, will also be essential. “An effective approach to post-Brexit immigration must acknowledge that there is unmet need for roles of all sorts - not just those filled by the very highest earners. Keeping deliveries going, patients being treated and goods on the shelves means an open approach to workers from elsewhere. Businesses understand the need for control - but this is not in conflict with openness to those who come to contribute.”

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.  The full copy of this report is available from Markit.

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