6 July 2018
Candidate shortages contribute to slower rise in staff appointments in June

News from the REC

Key points:

  • Permanent placements and temp billings continue to rise, but not as sharply as previous months
  • Candidate availability deteriorates at steeper pace
  • Robust demand for staff leads to further marked rises in pay
  • Summary:
The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

Softer increase in staff appointments… 

Permanent staff placements and temporary billings both continued to rise sharply in June, despite rates of expansion easing to eight- and three-month lows respectively.

…as candidate availability falls at sharper rate 

Lower candidate availability was cited as a factor hampering growth in staff appointments. Notably, both permanent and temporary worker availability declined at sharper rates at the end of the second quarter.

Steeper increase in staff vacancies 

Staff vacancies continued to rise sharply in June. Growth of demand for permanent staff edged up to a seven-month high, while short-term vacancies rose at a slower yet still strong rate.

Pay pressures remain historically marked

Salaries awarded to staff placed in permanent jobs increased further in June, with the rate of inflation holding close to a three-year high. At the same time, temporary/contract rates of pay also rose sharply, with the rate of growth broadly similar to April’s two-year peak.

Regional variation

The Midlands saw the steepest expansion in permanent placements of all four monitored English regions, while the weakest upturn was noted in London.

Growth of temp billings was strongest in the North of England, while the weakest increase was registered in the South of England.

Sector variation

Demand for staff rose across both the public and private sectors at the end of the second quarter, though growth of vacancies remained sharper across the latter.

The steepest increase in demand for staff was seen for private sector permanent workers. The slowest, albeit still marked, rise was seen for public sector permanent staff.

June survey data indicated that permanent staff vacancies rose across all ten monitored job categories. IT & Computing and Engineering led the overall upturn in demand for permanent workers. The weakest increase in vacancies was seen for Retail.

Blue Collar topped the rankings for demand for short-term staff during June, followed by Nursing/Medical/Care. The only sector to not register increased demand for temporary workers was retail, as vacancies stagnated.


Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive says:

“It’s a great time for people looking to take the next step in their careers, as employers compete for new staff in a tight market. It’s a candidate’s market out there.
“Across the majority of sectors, both temporary and permanent opportunities are growing, and a lack of candidates means it is no surprise to see starting pay also rising.
“Recruiters report that some of this high vacancy rate may be driven by good demand from companies not being matched by candidate willingness to move in the face of the current economic uncertainty.
“The one sector that stands out as in a different place is retail. Placements are stagnating as the sector reshapes quickly, driven by changing customer demand and stiff competition. But the type of customer service skills retail workers develop are in huge demand in other sectors, and the sheer size of our retail sector means there are still opportunities in stores.”
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