Report on Jobs: Permanent placements and temporary billings both see stronger growth

Key points:

  •  Permanent placements growth reaches eight-month high as temp billings also rise at faster pace
  • Demand for both permanent and temporary candidates at its highest since May
  •  Agencies report steeper decline in staff availability


The 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.

Permanent and temporary placements rise solidly…

The amount of people placed in permanent roles increased for the third month running in October. Moreover, the rate of expansion quickened to the steepest recorded in eight months.  Temporary/contract staff placements also rose at a faster pace at the start of the fourth quarter, with the rate of growth accelerating to a five-month high.


…as demand for staff improves further

The robust increase in staff appointments was supported by increased employee vacancies in the latest survey period. Furthermore, demand for both permanent and temporary staff was at the highest since May.


Stronger increase in salaries

Permanent staff starting salaries rose further in October, with the rate of increase picking up to its strongest for five months. Growth in hourly pay rates for temporary/contract staff meanwhile quickened slightly from September’s 40-month low, but remained relatively modest overall.


Further drop in candidate availability

The availability of permanent candidates continued to decline in October, and at a steeper rate than in September.  Meanwhile, the availability of temporary/contract staff fell at the softest rate in four months.


Regional and sector variation

The North saw the quickest increase in permanent placements at the start of the fourth quarter, followed by the Midlands. However, London and Scotland registered marginal declines.


As was the case with permanent placements, the North saw the strongest increase in short-term staff billings in October. The only region monitored by the survey to see a fall in temporary billings was Scotland.


Demand for private sector staff remained robust in October, with recruitment consultancies seeing sharp increases in vacancies for both permanent and temporary posts.


In contrast, the number of available permanent and temporary roles in the public sector declined modestly in the latest survey period.


Demand rose for all permanent staff categories during October, albeit to varying degrees. Engineering maintained its top spot in the table, followed by IT & Computing. Meanwhile, demand was weakest for permanent roles in Hotel & Catering.


Blue Collar topped the table for temporary/contract staff demand in October. All other categories also saw an upturn in demand over the month, though Executive/Professional saw the slowest rate of growth.



REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:


“Despite ongoing uncertainty the UK jobs market is thriving again in most areas of the UK. Job vacancies are back to levels not seen since April, and for the third consecutive month recruiters have reported an increase in the amount of people finding permanent jobs.


“This is a great place to be but there are real threats coming over the hill. Candidate availability has been falling for three and a half years. There are more vacancies than there are people to fill them in many sectors, including engineering, construction and healthcare.


“The government urgently needs to outline a strategy to address employability skills within UK education and promote apprenticeships and other routes into work. We also need immigration policies that reflect immediate labour market needs. Imposing new restrictions on people coming from abroad to fill vacancies will impact businesses’ ability to meet demand as well as the delivery of public services.


“We need Britain to remain open for business. We can’t afford to see businesses relocate overseas, taking jobs with them and leaving us poorer as a nation.”