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Business confidence means strongest rise in permanent jobs for 10 months!


Key findings 


  • Permanent staff appointments increase modestly...
  • ...but temp billings fall for first time since April 2013
  • Permanent staff vacancies rise at quickest pace since last March



 January marked the first back-to-back increase in permanent staff appointments for over a year amid reports of firmer market confidence, according to the latest KPMG and REC, UK.

Vacancy trends also highlighted strengthening demand for permanent workers, while temp vacancy growth steadied.

However, concerns over the outlook and an already low unemployment rate continued to weigh on the supply of workers. January data pointed to further steep reductions in permanent candidate numbers.  

Pay pressures were meanwhile relatively subdued, with permanent starting salaries rising at the softest pace for three-and-a-half years. 

The report is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.


Permanent placement growth picks up in January

UK recruiters signalled a further increase in permanent staff appointments in January amid reports of improved business confidence following the general election. Though modest, the rate of growth was the quickest recorded for just over a year.

Vacancy growth improves to ten-month high

The total number of staff vacancies across the UK rose at the quickest pace for ten months in January, with growth largely driven by improved demand for permanent workers. Notably, permanent staff vacancies expanded at the steepest rate since last March.

Starting pay increases at softer pace...

Latest data signalled softer increases in starting pay for both permanent and temporary workers in January. Though solid, the latest upturn in permanent starting salaries was the slowest seen for three-and-a-half years. Temp wage inflation was meanwhile among the softest recorded since late-2016. 

 ...despite further marked drop in candidate supply

 Slower rises in starting pay occurred despite further sharp falls in candidate supplies. Although the drop in permanent worker availability eased slightly at the start of 2020, the reduction in temp staff numbers the most marked seen since last June. 



Commenting on the latest survey results, Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive, said: 

“It’s good to see that businesses have grown in confidence over the past two months and taken the opportunity to restart hiring. Permanent placements are up again, and demand for staff has risen at the quickest rate for ten months. This is good news for employers, recruiters and candidates – all three can now get on with making the economy flourish in 2020.






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