The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs – published recenty – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.
Permanent staff placements continued to rise across the UK in February. Though sharp, the rate of expansion moderated slightly since the start of the year. Temp billings meanwhile rose at a faster pace midway through the first quarter.
Staff vacancies rise to weakest extent for 14 months
Although demand for staff remained robust in February, overall growth of demand softened to its slowest in over a year. Slower increases in staff vacancies were seen for both permanent and temporary positions. Recruitment consultants reported continued difficulties regarding the availability of suitable staff for permanent and temporary roles in February. That said, rates of deterioration weakened since January and were the least marked for 11- and 13-months, respectively.
The rate of starting salary inflation eased from January’s 31-month peak but remained sharp in February. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates also rose further, and at a faster pace than recorded in January. The Midlands saw the quickest increase in permanent staff placements on a regional basis. Nonetheless, rates of expansion were sharp elsewhere with the exception of London, where permanent placements rose at a modest pace that was the weakest for five months. Temp billings growth was fastest in the Midlands, closely followed by Scotland. Expansions were also sharp in the three remaining regions covered by the survey.
Private sector demand for staff rose at a considerably stronger pace than in the public sector, according to latest jobs survey data.
In the private sector, growth of permanent staff vacancies continued to outstrip that for temporary roles. In contrast, the public sector registered stronger demand for temporary staff compared to permanent workers. The strongest growth of demand for permanent staff was signalled within the IT & Computing sector during February. Engineering and Accounting/Financial workers also registered a marked rise in demand for their services. Nonetheless, vacancies also rose across all of the remaining job categories. Nursing/Medical/Care employees were the most in-demand type of short-term staff in February, slightly ahead of Blue Collar. Construction workers registered the weakest growth of demand.