March 2017 Newsletter



Permanent placements increase at quickest pace in one year
… but temp billings growth softens to four-month low
Demand for staff reaches 18-month peak


Growth of staff appointments remains stronger than at UK level
Rates of inflation for permanent salaries and temp wages weaker than UK averages
Downturn in labour supply gathers pace

As always, we work closely with the Recruitment Employment Confederation and IHS Markit to continually explore what is happening month by month within the employment market. Following, are the most recent findings.

Commenting on the latest survey results, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says:

“Although permanent placements have hit a 12 month high, businesses across the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit for permanent roles. The big question still remains about how employers will fill their vacancies.

Despite what was announced in the budget, it will not solve the immediate need for people to fill jobs. We have already seen acute staff shortages in a variety of sectors from healthcare to engineering. This is likely to get worse, especially if the Government continued to refuse the rights of EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit.

On the flip-side, this is a good time for individuals prepared to move jobs with bumper pay offers on the table as hirers compete to secure the talent available. In the context of rising inflation and stagnating pay growth, changing employers is becoming a more attractive option for those looking for more money.”


Permanent Staff

The amount of permanent placements made by recruitment agencies continued to rise in February. Furthermore, the rate of increase picked up from January’s four-month low and was the quickest seen in a year. A number of panellists mentioned that higher business activity and increased demand for staff had underpinned the latest rise in permanent placements.

Data split by region indicates that permanent placements increased across all four English regions in February, while Scotland saw the first expansion since September 2016.

The availability of candidates to fill permanent roles declined further in February. Moreover, the rate of reduction quickened to the steepest in 13 months, with around one third of the panel noting a deterioration in permanent staff availability.

The availability of permanent candidates dropped across all English Regions, led by the South. Scotland also saw a marked decline in permanent staff availability

In February, the strongest increase of staff was seen in Engineering, IT & Computing and Nursing/Medical/Care staff. Though marked overall, demand for permanent roles was weakest in Hotel & Catering

Blue Collar

Temporary/Contract Staff

Billings received by agencies from the employment of temporary/contract staff increased in February, as has been the case in each of the past 46 months. Notably, the rate of growth eased further from December’s recent high and was the slowest seen since last October.

Continuing a trend that has been evident since last October, agencies based in the North of England saw the quickest increase in temp billings.

Engineering was the most sought after category for temporary/contract staff in February, closely followed by Nursing/Medical/Care and Blue Collar. The slowest growth was seen for Executive/Professional.

Blue Collar
Hotel & Catering


Key Permanent Staff Skills

Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Estimators, Finance, Financial Planners.

Blue Collar: FMCG, Manufacturing staff.

Construction: None recorded.

Engineering: Engineers, Technicians, Vehicle Technicians.

Executive/ Professional: Category Merchandisers, Client Services, Import

Merchandisers, Senior Managers, Marketing.

Hotel/Catering: Hospitality.

IT/Computing: Digital Services, Gaming, IT, Software Developers, U1, UX.

Nursing/Medical/Care: Care Workers, Healthcare Assistants, Home Carers, Social Care

Workers, Support Workers.

Secretarial/Clerical: None recorded.

Other: Call Centre, Customer Services, Sales, Telesales, Technical Sales.

Key Temp Skills

Accountancy/Financial: None recorded.

Blue Collar: Fork Lift Drivers, Drivers, Manufacturing Operatives.

Construction: None recorded.

Engineering: Engineers, Vehicle Technicians.

Hotels/Catering: None recorded.

IT/Computing: None recorded.

Nursing/Medical/Care: Care Assistants, Healthcare Assistants, Home Carers, Social

Care, Support Workers.

Secretarial/Clerical: None recorded.

Other: Customer Services, Sales, Telemarketing.