August’s Job Market Report

Growth of staff appointments falls further…blue news

Although permanent placements continued to rise in August, the rate of growth eased further, hitting a 27-month low.

…restricted by skill shortages

The availability of candidates for permanent roles fell further in August, with the rate of decline accelerating to the sharpest for a year.

Salary growth remains strong…

Starting salaries for people placed in permanent roles continued to increase in August. The rate of growth remained strong relative to the survey’s historical average.

…supported by robust demand

Vacancies continued to rise at a marked rate in August. Demand for permanent staff continued to rise at a faster pace than that for temps.


Permanent placements increase at slowest pace since May 2013 whilst vacancies growth remains strong

The number of people placed in permanent roles rose further in August. However, the rate of expansion moderated further from April’s recent high to the slowest in 27 months. Anecdotal evidence suggested that, although demand for staff remained strong, placements had in many cases been held back by a lack of skilled candidates.

Midlands-based consultancies signalled the strongest growth of permanent placements during the latest survey period, while those in London recorded the weakest increase.

Demand for staff continued to rise at a marked rate in this time.

Latest official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) signalled that vacancies rose 10.4% on an annual basis in the three months to July. That was the slowest growth since the three months to March 2013


The availability of permanent staff continued to deteriorate in August whilst salary growth continued to rise

Moreover, the latest fall was the sharpest for a year, with close to half of panellists reporting a decline in the latest survey period.

Lower permanent staff availability was signalled across all four of the monitored English regions, with the Midlands seeing the steepest reduction.

Key permanent staff skills reported in short supply:

  • Accountancy/Financial: Audit, Compliance, Credit, Finance, Paraplanners, Risk.
  • Executive/Professional: Management.

A number of panellists linked a shortage of skilled workers to helping push a further rise in starting salaries for successfully placed candidates. The Midlands recorded the sharpest increase in salaries during the latest survey period, while London saw the slowest rise.


Commenting on the latest survey results, Bernard Brown, Partner at KPMG, said:

“There was no respite for recruiters in August, who were left struggling to fill vacancies after a vast swathe of Britain’s job seekers appeared to take the summer off. The number of people looking for a job fell at the sharpest rate seen for a year, leaving unfilled posts across the economy.

“Many candidates may have simply shelved their plans for the summer, believing their prospects to be stronger in September. However this is of little comfort to those businesses needing staff now to meet demand for their goods and services.

“This frustrating dynamic continues to have an inflationary effect on pay, which rose yet again in August. With candidates having their pick of the job market, companies need to offer more than just cash. In order to attract and retain the best people businesses need to offer a bespoke package of benefits, including flexible working, which can be tailored to suit the individual and their priorities and commitments.”

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