Report on Jobs: Permanent placement growth remains sharp

The South of England’s recruitment agencies reported that the number of people placed in permanent jobs rose for the fourteenth successive month in September. The rate of growth eased from August’s 44-month record, but was nonetheless the second-fastest since March 2010.

Growth of agency temp billings in the South of England slowed for the second successive month in September, after reaching a 152-month record in July. That said, the pace of expansion remained stronger than the long-run survey average. Temporary staff placement growth remained strong in all four regions, with the Midlands registering the fastest increase.


Phil Cotton, regional chairman for KPMG in the South said:

“With another month of data showcasing a strong rise in the number of appointments and job offers on the table, it seems that business is warming to calls for investment from Mark Carney. Improved market conditions, higher activity levels amongst clients and generally stronger levels of confidence amongst employers are certainly some of the major factors underpinning the latest rise in placements in the South of England.

“Yet it remains worrying that employees are clearly still not sharing employers’ growing faith in recovery. Demand for staff may be up, but the number of individuals putting themselves on the market has fallen. Perhaps the pay on offer has to rise to encourage staff to ‘make the move’. If it doesn’t we could be about to witness a growing gap between what the employers need and what employees are prepared to do.”


Availability of permanent candidates falls further

Recruitment consultants in the South of England reported lower permanent candidate availability for the third month in a row in September. The rate of decline accelerated since August, but was weaker than July’s 65-month low.

Permanent candidate availability declined in all four English regions in September. The steepest drop was registered in London, followed by the Midlands. The South posted the weakest decline in permanent candidate availability.

The supply of labour for temporary roles in the South of England declined for the second time in three months in September. The rate of contraction was broadly similar to July’s 69-month record, and in line with the UK average.

Growth of permanent salaries strengthens

The rate of growth in average starting salaries paid to permanent staff accelerated for the fourth month running in September, to the fastest since October 2007. Permanent salaries across the South have risen in every month since July 2012.

For the fourth month in a row, all four English regions registered salary growth for permanent starters in September. The strongest increase was seen in the South, and the weakest in the Midlands.

Pay rates for temporary staff in the South of England rose for the eighteenth consecutive month in September. The rate of wage growth slowed further from July’s 68-month peak, and was broadly in line with the long-run series average.


REC chief executive Kevin Green said:

“This month’s figures show the jobs market continues to be the success story in the UK economy with all regions and sectors experiencing growth. Recruiters tell us that the number of people being placed into permanent roles has now been growing and temp growth maintains its strength.

“This is good news but behind this success story we can see that the division in the jobs market is getting worse with vacancies going up as the number of skilled workers to fill them goes down. There is a real two speed labour market in place. We have a buoyant, candidate driven market for skilled and professional roles, versus an oversupply of candidates for jobs that don’t rely on a specific skill set.”