The latest REC/IHS Markit Jobs report shows a sharp and accelerated increase in permanent staff placements across the UK. May’s report shows the rate of expansion at a 25 month high while temp billings also rose at a steeper pace recording the strongest rate of growth since March 2015.
The number of staff vacancies rose sharply for both permanent and temporary roles in the UK during May. Notably the index measuring total growth of demand for staff reached a 21 month peak in the latest survey period. However, the availability of staff to fill vacancies continued to decline during May. While the number of candidates for permanent roles dropped at the quickest pace since August 2015, the deterioration in temporary candidate availability softened slightly since April.
This balance of supply and demand has led to average starting salaries for people placed into permanent jobs increasing at their quickest rate in the three months during May. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff also rose sharply, despite the rate of growth softening since April.
Commenting on the latest survey results, Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy says:
“The challenges facing the next government are stark. Demand for staff is the strongest in almost two years, but the number of people available to take those jobs has plummeted. Official data shows unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 1975, and EU citizens are leaving the UK in droves. Employers seeking to fill vacancies are running out of options.”
“Whichever party forms the next government must focus on improving the employability of our young people and boosting inclusion for underrepresented groups. Alongside this, these figures clearly show that in many sectors we need more, not fewer people so that businesses can grow and public services continue to deliver.”