KEY POINTS FROM SURVEY
Permanent placements drop for seventh month in a row
Weakest increase in vacancies for over seven and a half years
Availability of staff continues to dip amid uncertain outlook
FOR THE NORTH OF ENGLAND
Permanent placements rise following drop in August
Temp billings growth picks up to six month high
Permanent starting pay increases at quicker rate
EMPLOYERS SCALE BACK HIRING PLANS IN SEPTEMBER AS BREXIT DEADLINE LOOMS.
Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KMPG, said:
“The Brexit impasse continues to affect the jobs market with employers stuck unable to make informed decisions and people unwilling to risk seeking new roles.
“Given that it is the weakest increase in job vacancies since 2012 and the longest period that permanent staff appointments have fallen since the global financial crisis, it would seem that it is proving difficult for businesses to shake off the heightened uncertainty and unknowns. So with the deadline fast approaching, they may well be waiting to get clarity on the future direction of Brexit before making any key decisions on hiring and investment.”
Christine Hewson, North Region Chair at KMPG, said:
“Following a drop in August, a return to growth in the number of permanent staff appointments is a good indication of the resilience of the regional economy as businesses press on with their growth plans following the summer holidays. Salaries for those appointments have also continued to rise across the region, extending the current seven and a half year run. However, many business leaders will be concerned about the quality of the current labour pool, with September seeing a further reduction in available talent across the market, as many are continuing to stick rather than twist amid an uncertain Brexit outcome.”
Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive, said:
“Businesses are positive about their own prospects, but ongoing Brexit uncertainty has led many firms to delay projects and hiring decisions. Vacancy growth has fallen to its lowest level since 2012. The UK’s vibrant temporary work market is playing an important role in helping employers manage the ongoing uncertainty and job-seekers to find work.
“There are deeper issues which must be addressed to secure the UK’s future prosperity. Productivity is falling and there are skill shortages in vital sectors across the economy. Solving these problems must be top of the government’s to-do list once the Brexit deadlock has been broken.”
DEMAND FOR STAFF BY SECTOR
The number of people placed into permanent jobs declined for the seventh consecutive month in September. The rate of reduction was modest overall, having eased from August’s recent record. Nonetheless, it was still among the lowest index readings seen since the global financial crisis. Brexit-related uncertainty was by far the most commonly cited factor weighing on permanent placements, which led clients to delay or cancel hiring plans.
All four of the monitored English regions bar the North of England registered lower permanent staff appointments in September. That said, the increase in the North of England was only marginal.
The strongest increases in permanent staff vacancies in September were seen in IT & Computing and Hotel & Catering. Construction and Retail were the only monitored sectors to signal reduced demand for permanent workers.
Adjusted for seasonal factors, the Temporary Billings index remained above the neutral 50.0 level to signal a further rise in billings received from the employment of short-term staff across the UK.
The rate of expansion quickened for the second month in a row, but was modest overall. Notably, the pace of increase remained among the slowest seen since 2013. A number of panellists mentioned that employers were taking on temp staff as opposed to hiring permanent workers. At the same time, there were reports that uncertainty has delayed projects and hiring decisions, which had in turn weighed on overall growth.
The North of England and the Midlands both registered marked increases in temp billings during September, while the South of England saw only a slight expansion. Meanwhile, a reduction was seen in London for the second month in a row.
Demand for temporary staff increased in seven of the ten monitored job sectors during September, led by Nursing/Medical/Care. Retail continued to signal the steepest decline in short-term vacancies.
Hotel & Catering
SKILLS IN SHORT SUPPLY
Key Permanent Staff Skills
Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers, Estimators, Finance, Pension Admin, Risk, Tax Professionals, Taxation.
Blue Collar: Drivers, Fork Lift Drivers, LGV Drivers, Manufacturing Ops, Production Staff, Unskilled Labour, Warehouse staff, Welders.
Construction: Construction, Labourers, Quantity Surveyors.
Engineering: Design Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Senior Electronic Engineers, System Engineers, Technicians.
Executive/ Professional: Compliance, Digital Marketing, Executives, Human Resources, Law, Management, Marketing, Portal Fee, PR, Scientists.
Hotel/Catering: Baristas, Chefs, Hospitality, Kitchen Porters.
IT/Computing: Analysts, Automation Testers, CAD, Cyber Security, Data Professionals, Developers, Digital, IT, Java, Scala, Software Engineers, Technical, Technology.
Nursing/Medical/Care: Childcare, Clinical Research Staff, Health Care Assistants, Health Professionals, Nurses, Pharmacists, Social Workers.
Retail: Sales staff.
Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Clerical, Office Staff, Personal Assistants, Receptionist’s.
Other: B2B, Buyers, Call Centre, Commercial, Customer Service, Designers, Dutch Speakers, Ecologists, German Speakers, Sales, Scandinavian Speaker’s, Semi-skilled workers, Skilled workers.
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