November 2019 Newsletter



Solid drop in permanent staff appointments, temp billings rise only slightly
Vacancy growth eases to 93-month low
Pay continues to rise as candidate availability falls again


Permanent placements growth accelerates
Softer increase in temporary billing
Both permanent and temporary pay inflation eases

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

“Businesses are still waiting to hear that starting gun and until there is some certainty around Brexit and now the election, employers continue to stall on creating vacancies and making permanent hires.

“It’s not just businesses that are being cautious, however, and over October we have seen job-seekers become increasingly nervous about making a career change. The lucky few that do find jobs are continuing to demand higher pay as reflected in the rise in starting salaries and temp pay.

“The IT and computing sector threw caution to the wind last month as the best performer in vacancy growth. Meanwhile, the medical sector is not far behind and we also saw a sharp increase in the demand for temp staff in this sector.”

Nicola Quayle, Office Senior Partner at KMPG in Manchester, said:

“As the UK heads to the polls next month, adding to existing uncertainty, it is encouraging to see northern businesses bucking the national trend and pressing on with their expansion plans – another feather in the cap for the North’s robust economy. For the region to continue to thrive, it is critical that businesses have the confidence to continue recruiting for permanent roles while allowing for more flexible billings to ensure the right mix of talent and resource. This latest acceleration is a welcome change from the high levels of caution we have seen throughout the year.”

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

“These figures underline why this needs to be a job election. The labour market is strong but permanent placements have now dropped for eight months in a row and vacancies growth has fallen to its lowest level since January 2012. One bright spark is the temporary labour market, which continues to provide flexible work to people and businesses that need it during troubled times.

“Ending political uncertainty and getting companies hiring again is vital – but we must also look to the long term future of work. Jobs must be front and centre during the election campaign. We will be urging all political parties to run on policies which support and enhance the UK’s flexible labour market – allowing businesses to create jobs, employees to build careers and the economy to grow.”


Permanent Staff

Adjusted for seasonal influences, the Permanent Placements index remained below the neutral 50.0 value, to signal a further fall in permanent staff appointments across the UK.

The rate of contraction quickened to a solid pace that was the second-quickest since July 2016, when placements fell following the Brexit referendum. According to recruitment consultants, heightened uncertainty regarding Brexit had led clients to cancel or postpone staff hiring.

Permanent staff appointments declined sharply across the Midlands, the South of England and London in October. In contrast, the North of England registered a solid increase in permanent placements.

Softer permanent staff demand trends were seen across all monitored sectors compared to a year ago in October. IT & Computing was the best performer in terms of vacancy growth, while Retail remained at the bottom of the rankings.

Blue Collar

Temporary/Contract Staff

Recruitment agencies signalled a further upturn in billings received from the employment of short-term workers at the start of the fourth quarter. Panel members that noted higher temp billings generally linked this to firmer demand for temporary staff, which in many cases was due to firms choosing to hire short-term workers as opposed to permanent ones. That said, the respective seasonally adjusted index indicated that the rate of growth eased to a marginal pace that was much slower than the historical trend.

igher temp billings were recorded in the Midlands and the North of England, while declines were seen in the South of England and London.
Nursing/Medical/Care saw the sharpest increase in demand for short-term staff during October, followed by Hotel & Catering.

The only two sectors to record reduced demand for temp workers were Executive/Professional and Construction.

Hotel & Catering
Blue Collar


Key Permanent Staff Skills 

Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers, Estimators, Finance, Finance Directors, Financial Services, Investment, Payroll, Pension Admin, Risk, Taxation.

Blue Collar: Fork Lift Drivers, LGV Drivers, Production Staff, Warehouse staff.

Construction: Construction, Construction Sales, Planners, Quantity Surveyors.

Engineering: Mechanical Engineers, Senior Electronic Engineers, Technicians.

Executive/ Professional: B2B, Compliance, Law, Management, Marketing, Portal Fee.

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

IT/Computing: Analysts, Automation Testers, CAD, Data Professionals, Data Scientists, Developers, Digital, IT, Software Engineers, Technical Sales, Technology.

Nursing/Medical /Care: Chemists, Health Care Assistants, Nurses, Social Workers.

Retail: Sales staff.

Secretarial/ Clerical: Administration, Office Staff, Receptionist’s.
Other: Buyers, Call Centre, Customer Service, Ecologists, Media, Procurement, Sales, Semi-skilled workers, Skilled workers

Key Temp Skills

Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers, Estimators, Finance, Financial Services, Payroll, Pension Admin, Risk.

Blue Collar: Blue Collar, Drivers, Electricians, Factory Workers, FLT Drivers, HGV Drivers, Industrial Ops, LGV Drivers, Manufacturing Ops, Production, Warehouse Operatives, Welders.

Construction: Construction Workers, Quantity Surveyors.
Engineering: Design Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, System Engineers.

Executive/ Professional: Law, Management, Marketing, Portal Fee, Project Managers, Recruitment Consultants, Surveyors.

Hotels/Catering: Baristas, Catering, Chefs, Front of House, Hospitality, Kitchen Porters.

IT/Computing: CAD, Data Scientists, Developers, IT, Programmers, Python, Software Engineers, Technology.

Nursing/Medical/Care: Carers, Doctors, Health Professionals, Nurses, Social Workers, Support Workers.
Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Office Staff, Receptionist.

Other: B2B, Buyers, Call Centre, Customer Service, Sales, Supply Chain, Team Leaders, Telesales, Testers, Unskilled Workers.