UK jobs market remains strong in August – REC
The latest REC Jobs Report (produced by IHS Markit) shows the UK Labour market remained buoyant in August with the number of people placed into permanent job roles continuing to rise sharply.
The rate of growth did ease slightly from July’s record level but temp billings remained strong, with the rate of expansion unchanged from July’s 29-month high.
August’s data pointed to a further steep increase in staff vacancies. Furthermore, growth of demand for staff reached its highest since April 2015. 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.
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.
Commenting on the latest survey results, 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 to 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.”