Data from the latest
Notably, permanent placements fell for the fifth straight month, while temp billings growth was mild overall.
Candidate shortages also contributed to the slowdown in hiring activity, though the latest drop in labour supply was the softest seen for nearly two years. Vacancies data showed a relative improvement in growth of demand for staff, however, helped by a quicker rise in permanent vacancies. Pay pressures remained sharp overall, driven by the rising cost of living and competition for scarce candidates.
The report is compiled by
February sees sustained fall in permanent placements
Permanent staff appointments across the
Overall vacancy growth improves to four-month high
The latest survey indicated that overall vacancies continued to increase during February, with the rate of growth the best recorded for four months. Nevertheless, the upturn remained softer than that seen on average since the survey’s inception over 25 years ago. Underlying data signalled that demand for permanent workers expanded at a quicker pace, while temp vacancy growth softened slightly.
Softest fall in candidate supply since
Recruitment consultancies signalled that the current downturn in candidate availability continued to ease midway through the first quarter. Overall staff supply fell at a mild rate that was the slowest seen for nearly two years, which was underpinned by softer falls in both permanent and temp candidate numbers. Panel members often commented that workers were reluctant to seek out new roles in the current economic climate, while ongoing skill shortages also weighed on staff availability. However, some recruiters noted that the supply of workers had improved due to recent redundancies.
Rates of starting pay continue to rise sharply
The rising cost of living and difficulties attracting and securing suitably skilled staff drove further increases in starting pay for both permanent and temporary roles in February. Permanent starters’ salaries continued to rise at a quicker pace than that seen for temp pay, though in both instances the rate of growth was the second-softest for nearly two years.
Regional and Sector Variations
Three of the four monitored English regions recorded lower permanent placements, led by
The North of
Demand for staff continued to expand across both the private and public sectors midway through the first quarter. The quickest increase in vacancies was signalled for temporary staff in the public sector, closely followed by permanent workers in the private sector. The softest upturn in vacancies was recorded for temporary roles in the private sector.
Demand for permanent workers increased across all ten monitored job categories during February. Nursing/Medical/Care topped the rankings once again, while Secretarial/Clerical saw the softest expansion in vacancies.
February survey data indicated that demand for short-term staff rose quickest for Nursing/Medical/Care roles, followed closely by
Commenting on the latest survey results,
Despite the rate of vacancy growth picking up to the best recorded in four months, candidate shortages remain, with recruiters citing hesitancy to move roles and longstanding, systemic skills shortages. Nursing, care and medical topped the rankings once again with highest demand for workers – both temporary and permanent.
These factors combined continue to play into pay inflation as employers try to compete with the rising cost of living.
What the economy needs now more than ever is a skilled workforce.’
Commenting on today’s report,
What this latest Report on Jobs shows is serious labour and skills shortages are not behind us. The economy stands to lose up to
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Survey responses are collected in the second half of each month and indicate the direction of change compared to the previous month. A diffusion index is calculated for each survey variable. The index is the sum of the percentage of ‘higher’ responses and half the percentage of ‘unchanged’ responses. The indices vary between 0 and 100, with a reading above 50 indicating an overall increase compared to the previous month, and below 50 an overall decrease. The indices are then seasonally adjusted.
Underlying survey data are not revised after publication, but seasonal adjustment factors may be revised from time to time as appropriate which will affect the seasonally adjusted data series.
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