KEY POINTS FROM SURVEY
Permanent staff appointments rise at slowest rate for a year
Labour supply falls rapidly, driving record rise in starting salaries
Overall vacancy growth hits six-month high
UPTURN IN HIRING ACTIVITY SLOWS AGAIN AMID CANDIDATE SHORTAGES
Commenting on the latest survey results, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC said:
“We can clearly see that labour and skills shortages are driving inflation in these latest figures. Starting salaries for permanent staff are growing at a new record pace, partially due to demand for staff accelerating and partially as firms increase pay for all staff in the face of rising prices. Record COVID infection levels are also pushing up demand for temporary workers, particularly in blue collar and hospitality sectors, underpinning the ability of temps to seek higher rates.
“However, the overall number of placements being made is starting to stabilise. This is no surprise after a period of historically high growth, and in the face of more economic uncertainty. Even so, the jobs market is very tight. Businesses will need to broaden their searches and be creative in making their offer to candidates more attractive, in consultation with recruitment experts. But government can help by incentivising investment in skills and people during the inflation crisis.”
Commenting on the latest survey results, Ian Beaumont, office senior partner for KPMG in Leeds, said:
"There’s no end in sight to the deep-seated workforce challenges facing our economy. Once again this month, job vacancies are increasing while there are simply not enough candidates in all sectors to fill them. With fewer EU workers, the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the economic impacts of the war in Ukraine and cost of living pressures, many employers will continue to struggle to hire the talent and access the skills they need. With unemployment staying low, there are many great opportunities for job-seekers to join or re-join the workforce in all sectors.”
DEMAND FOR STAFF BY SECTOR
Adjusted for seasonal factors, the Permanent Placements Index signalled an increase in permanent staff appointments across the UK for the thirteenth successive month in March. Though sharp and comfortably above the series average, the rate of growth slipped for the fourth month in a row and was the slowest since March 2021. The upturn was frequently attributed to strong demand for workers and rising vacancies. At the same time, panellists reported that a general lack of candidates had constrained overall growth.
The Midlands registered the sharpest increase in permanent placements of all four monitored English regions. The softest, but still marked, expansion was seen in the South of England.
As has been the case in each of the prior four months, IT & Computing recorded the steepest increase in demand for permanent staff of all ten monitored sectors in March. The softest, but still sharp, rise in permanent vacancies was seen in Retail.
Latest survey data indicated that growth of temp billings eased for the second month in a row in March. Notably, the rate of expansion was the slowest seen for 11 months, albeit strong by historical standards. The latest upturn was often attributed to rising business requirements at clients, and in some cases a lack of available permanent staff. Billings received from the recruitment of temp workers have now risen in each of the past 20 months.
All four monitored English regions noted marked upturns in temp billings at the end of the first quarter, led by London.
March survey data also pointed to a broad-based increase in temporary staff demand, with Hotel & Catering topping the rankings. As was the case for permanent vacancies, the slowest increase in short-term roles was signalled for Retail.
Hotel & Catering
SKILLS IN SHORT SUPPLY
Key Permanent Staff Skills
Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book-keepers, Credit Controllers, Estimators, Finance, Payroll, Purchase Ledger and Taxation.
Blue Collar: Drivers, HGV, Manufacturing, Mechanics. Production Security Guards, Sewing Machinists, Site Managers, Warehouse and Welders.
Construction: Architectural Technicians, Labourers and Quantity Surveyors.
Engineering: Hardware Engineers, Senior Electronic Engineers and Technicians.
Executive/ Professional: Business Development, HR, Legal, Marketing, PR, Project Managers and Recruitment Consultants.
Hotel/Catering: Catering, Chefs, Hospitality and Kitchen Porters.
IT/Computing: C#, CAD, Data Professionals, Developers, Digital, IT, Software Engineers, Technical Sales and Technology.
Nursing/Medical /Care: Carers, Health Care Assistants, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Nurses, Optometrists and Pharmacists.
Secretarial/ Clerical: Administration, Office Staff, Personal Assistants, Receptionists and Secretaries.
Other: Buyers, Call Centre, Commercial, Customer Service, German Speakers, Life Sciences, Logistics, Multilingual, Sales, Skilled, Supply Chain, Teachers and Telemarketing.
Key Temp Skills
Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Credit Controllers, Finance, Payroll Purchase Ledger and Taxation.
Blue Collar: Cleaners, Drivers, FLT, HGV, Industrials, Manufacturing, Packers, Production, Security Guards, Trades, Unskilled labour, Warehouse and Welders.
Construction: Architectural Technicians, Bricklayers and Labourers.
Engineering: Electrical Engineers.
Executive/Professional: HR, Legal and Project Managers.
Hotels/Catering: Baristas, Catering and Chefs.
IT/Computing: Automation Testers, Developers, Digital, IT, Java, Software Engineers and Technology.
Nursing/Medical/Care: Carers, Dentists, Doctors, Health Care Assistants, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Nurses, Optometrists and Pharmacists.
Retail: None recorded.
Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Office Staff and Receptionists.
Other: Buyers, Call Centre, Commercial, Customer Service, European Speakers, Graduates, Sales, Skilled, Telemarketing and unskilled.
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