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APSCo reports increased demand for recruitment firms

New data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) shows that professional recruitment firms now have 1% more vacancies on their books than this time last year.

This is in line with the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which reveals that overall employment levels increased modestly by 44,000 in the three months to March 2016, representing an employment rate of 74.2%.

The latest data from APSCo reveals that vacancies within the finance and accounting sectors continue to climb rapidly despite uncertainty surrounding the upcoming EU referendum, increasing by 10.2% year on year. This is in line with the latest data from specialist recruiter, Morgan McKinley, which found that available jobs in the City increased by 11% month-on-month to April.

In contrast, APSCo’s data found that engineering vacancies have dipped by 14% year-on-year. This comes at a time of huge uncertainty for the sector as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) warns of the potential ramifications if the UK were to leave the EU. The future of the British steel industry – and the associated impact on jobs – is also currently in limbo as Tata Steel considers investment partnership bids.

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all professional sectors dipped by 0.1% month-on-month following a sustained period of growth. This figure is characterised by notable fluctuations in terms of sector, with education, for example, recording an uplift of 11.2% while salaries within property and housing fell by 2%. Year-on-year, professional salaries rose by 3.4% across the board which exceeds the national increase in salaries as reported by the ONS which found that average earnings grew at an annual rate of 2% in the three months to March 2016.

Temporary and contract vacancies have increased across the professional staffing market with opportunities up by 1% year-on-year. Demand within finance and accounting was particularly strong, with vacancies increasing by 29%. This can most likely be attributed to increases in workload in the run up to the 2015/16 financial year-end.