March 2016 Newsletter



Permanent placements unchanged, but temp billings expand at quicker pace.
Availability of staff continues to worsen
Vacancy growth at near two and a half year low


Further decline in permanent placements amid uncertain outlook
Permanent and temporary staff availability deteriorates
Starting pay inflation remains marked

Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KMPG, said:

“Overall the labour market has been incredibly resilient over the last couple of years as employers have opted to hire more permanent and temporary staff rather than invest in long term productivity gains. However, in 2019 Brexit uncertainty is having an opposite and chilling effect on the jobs market, with firms reassessing their level of risk.

“With a decision on Brexit now imminent we are seeing companies freeze or slow the pace of new hires, whilst at the same time the number of people looking to enter the jobs market has declined further. Vacancy growth is now back to the levels we saw around two and a half years ago.

“With unemployment at its lowest level since 1975, widespread skill shortages are also cooling the job market with the most acute issues to be found in sectors such as IT, engineering and nursing. This means candidates with the right skills are commanding ever higher premiums and pay growth is now at a 10 year high. This has seen pay outstripping living costs meaning people feel better off.

“Once a political decision is made on Brexit we expect a wave of pent-up investment to be released in parallel with a renewed focus on cost reduction. This should result in another busy time for the jobs market later this year.”

Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive, said:

“The resilience of employers and the British job market shines through in today’s Report on Jobs. While numbers are clearly weaker than we have seen over the past few years, the survey suggest businesses are ready to create jobs if the investment environment is right. Recruiters are playing a crucial role in helping their clients fill gaps. As we draw closer to Brexit day, uncertainty and concern has grown, putting the sustainability of positive jobs news at risk. Firms are looking for politicians to find a solution to the current deadlock that gives them the certainty they need to invest and create jobs.”


Permanent Staff

After falling fractionally at the start of 2019, the number of people placed into permanent positions was unchanged in February. Some recruitment consultancies indicated that demand for staff among clients remained strong which helped lift placements.

However, other panellists indicated that candidate shortages and Brexit-related uncertainty had put a break on staff hiring in February. Notably, the broadly stagnant trend signalled for 2019 so far contrasted with steep increases in permanent placements throughout 2018.

On a regional basis, greater permanent staff appointments in London and the South of England helped to offset falls in the Midlands and North of England.

Permanent staff vacancies rose across all ten monitored categories during February. The steepest increase in demand was signalled for permanent IT/Computing workers, while the weakest was registered for Construction staff.

Blue Collar

Temporary/Contract Staff

After rising only slightly in January, temp billings growth quickened in February.  Though solid, the expansion remained notably softer than the average seen over the current 70-month sequence of increases.  Recruitment Agencies that registered higher billings generally linked this to strong demand for temporary workers.

Renewed increases in temp billings were seen in London and the North of England, while growth was sustained in the Midlands and the South of England.

Nursing/Medical/Care topped the rankings for temporary staff demand midway through the first quarter. Vacancies also grew across the other categories monitored by the survey, with the exception of Retail.

Hotel & Catering
Blue Collar


Key Permanent Staff Skills

Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Accounts, Auditors, Banking, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers, Estimators, Finance, Payroll, Pensions Admin, Risk, Tax, Underwriters.

Blue Collar: Automotive, Drivers, Forklift Drivers, HGV Drivers, LGV Drivers, Meter Readers, Production, Semi-Skilled Workers, Skilled Workers, Welders.

Construction: Construction Sales, Quantity Surveyors, Town Planners, White Collar Construction.

Engineering: Automation Engineers, Design Engineers, Electronic Design Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Geotechnic Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Planning Engineers, Senior Electronic Engineers, Technicians.

Executive/Professional: Compliance, Human Resources, Law, Legal Secretaries, Litigation, Marketing, Portal Fee Earners, Project Managers, Recruitment Consultants, Scientists, Senior Executives.

Hotel/Catering: Baristas, Catering, Chefs, Hospitality.

IT/Computing: Analysts, C#, C++, CAD, CNC, Data Analysts, Developers, DevOps, Digital, Gaming, IT, IT Developers, IT Managers, IT Security, Oracle Fusion, Programme Managers, Software Developers, Technology.

Nursing/Medical /Care: Care Workers, Carers, Chemists, Dispensing Opticians, Healthcare Assistants, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Home Carers, Nurses, Optometrists, Support Workers.

Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Clerical, PA’s, Receptionist’s, Secretary.

Other: Buyers, Customer Services, Export Sales, Logistics, Property Managers, Sales, Technical Sales, Telesales.

Key Temporary Staff Skills

Accountancy/Financial: Accounts, Accountants, Banking, Credit Controllers, Finance, Finance Directors, Payroll, Pension Admin, Taxation.

Blue Collar: Blue Collar, Cleaners, Drivers, FLT Drivers, General Operatives, HGV Drivers, LGV Drivers, Packers, Production, Skilled Workers, Unskilled Workers, Warehouse Operatives.

Construction: Quantity Surveyors, Rail, Skilled Construction, Surveyors.
Engineering: Civil Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Geotechnical Engineers, Senior Electronic Engineers, Technicians.

Executive/ Professional: Human Resources, Legal, Legal Secretaries, Litigation, Marketing, Portal Fee Earners, Scientists.

Hotels/Catering: Baristas, Catering, Chefs, Hospitality, Kitchen Porters.

IT/Computing: Architectural Technicians, Automation Testers, Data Analysts, Developers, DevOps, Digital, Full Stack Developers, Gaming, IT, Java, Oracle Fusion, Python, Ruby, Software Developers, Technology.

Nursing/Medical/Care: Care Workers, Healthcare Assistants, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Home Care Workers, Optometrists, Residential Carers, Social Workers, Support Workers.

Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Clerical, Office Staff, Office Support, Personal Assistant’s, Receptionist’s, Secretaries.

Other: Buyers, Customer Service, Dutch Speakers, General Assistants, German Speakers, Graduates, Sales, Team Leaders, Telesales.