February Report on Jobs: South (excluding London)

Key points from January survey:

  • Weaker rise in permanent staff placements than 2015 trend
  • Second-slowest increase in temp billings in current 33-month upturn
  • Labour supply in South continues to drop sharply

Staff Appointment:  Growth of permanent placements moderates in January

Recruitment agencies in the South of England reported a slower rise in full-time appointments at the start of 2016. The rate of growth remained strong overall, but was weaker than the trend pace over the current sequence of expansion which began in August 2012. The South registered a broadly similar increase in permanent placements as the UK as a whole in January.

Staff Availability:  Supply of permanent candidates continues to decline sharply

The availability of labour for permanent roles in the South fell for the thirty-first consecutive month in January. The rate of contraction eased to a three-month low, but remained faster than the trend pace seen over the current sequence of decline, and the UK average.

Pay Pressures:  Permanent salaries

Recruitment agencies in the South reported a further marked rise in salaries awarded to new permanent staff in January. The rate of inflation eased for the second month running, but remained stronger than the long-run survey average and faster than the trend shown across the UK as a whole.

Regional Comparisons:

Staff appointments

Permanent staff appointments in the UK rose for the fortieth successive month in January, and at a faster pace. Regional data highlighted stronger increases in London and the North, while moderations were recorded in the South and the Midlands. Nonetheless, the latter saw the sharpest growth rate.

Candidate availability

Permanent candidate availability in the UK worsened further in January, with declines seen in all four tracked English regions. The quickest drop was recorded in the North and the slowest, although still sharp, in London.

Pay Pressures

Skill shortages continued to place upward pressures on permanent pay across the UK. January saw the thirty-second broad-based monthly rise in salaries, with the Midlands overtaking the South with regards to the strongest rate of salary inflation.


This blog has been written with thanks to The Report on Jobs, a monthly publication produced by Markit and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

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