The IHS Markit /REC Report on Jobs, published this week provides good news for the UK labour market including:
• Permanent placements and temp billings both rise at marked rates
• Demand for staff increases at fastest rate since April 2015
• Candidate availability declines at quicker pace, pushing pay rates higher
Here are the findings from the latest report:
Staff placements continue to rise sharply in August
The number of people placed into permanent job roles continued to rise sharply in August, with the rate of growth easing only slightly from July’s recent record. Temp billings also rose markedly, with the rate of expansion unchanged from July’s 29-month high.
Staff vacancies rise at quickest rate for 28 months
August data pointed to a further steep increase in staff vacancies. Furthermore, growth of demand for staff reached its highest since April 2015.
Pay growth strengthens…
Growth of permanent starting salaries accelerated for the fourth month running in August. Notably, it was the quickest rate of pay inflation seen since October 2015. Temp pay also increased at a faster pace, rising at the steepest rate for 16 months in August.
…amid further drop in candidate availability
The availability of candidates to fulfil permanent job roles continued to decline sharply in August, with the rate of deterioration slightly quicker than seen in July. Temp staff supply meanwhile fell to the greatest extent in 20 months.
Growth of permanent placements was strongest in the Midlands and the North of England. Meanwhile, London continued to record only a marginal rate of expansion that was the slowest of all monitored regions.
Temp billings data split by region showed that the Midlands saw the fastest rate of growth, closely followed by the South of England. Nonetheless, all of the remaining regions monitored by the survey also noted steep rates of expansion.
Private sector staff demand picked up again in August, with the number of vacancies rising at similarly sharp rates for both permanent and short-term staff.
Demand for public sector staff remained less marked than seen in the private sector, but was nonetheless steep overall. Growth in demand for temporary public workers continued to outstrip that for permanent workers in the sector.
Demand for permanent workers rose across all monitored job categories during August. The steepest increase in vacancies was seen in IT & Computing, followed by Accounting/Financial. Construction saw the weakest upturn in permanent staff demand.
Occupying top position in the temporary/contract staff demand rankings during August was Blue Collar. Engineering and Nursing/Medical/Care completed the top three. Nonetheless, all other job categories also registered sharp rates of growth.
Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive says:
“As this month’s report clearly shows, employers are increasingly turning to recruitment agencies as it becomes harder to find the people to fill the jobs available. There are two trends at play. Businesses are seeking more professional and managerial capability, so we’re seeing high demand for roles like financial directors, analysts, and compliance and HR professionals. Meanwhile, there is a significant shortage of people to fill blue collar roles such as drivers, electricians, and construction workers, and this is being exacerbated by a fall in net migration from the EU.
“In many areas of the jobs market candidate supply cannot meet demand. Employers are having to offer more money to secure the people with the skills they need. While the working population in general has experienced a pay squeeze, there are clearly opportunities now to earn more by moving jobs.
“This is good news for individuals, but businesses will be concerned about the sustainability of this trend. Businesses can only grow if they have access the people and skills they need. It is essential that the government recognises this by developing an evidence-based immigration system that will support the economy.”