February Report on Jobs

Key points from the January survey:

  • Permanent placements growth quickens
  • Permanent salaries continued to increase, albeit at weakest rate in 27 months
  • Candidate availability remains tight

Commenting on the latest survey results, REC chief executive Kevin Green, said:

“The jobs market has started 2016 with a bang – our latest data shows strong growth in demand for staff and in permanent placements.  Professional service jobs are among those leading the way, with marketing and commercial roles especially in demand as businesses seek to make the most of the good economic climate.”

Permanent placements rise at faster pace and stronger growth of demand for staff:

Recruitment consultants reported a slight acceleration in growth of permanent staff placements during January.    January data signalled a further increase in vacancies, with the pace of expansion picking up to a five-month high.

Candidate availability falls, albeit at slower rate:

The availability of staff for permanent roles continued to decline in January. Rates of contraction remained marked, despite easing to the slowest for 12 and three months respectively.

Salary growth eases:

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates rose further in January, but the rate of growth eased to a 27-month low

Permanent Salaries:

January data signalled a further rise in average starting salaries for candidates successfully placed in permanent roles. Although remaining above the survey’s historical average, the rate of growth was nevertheless the slowest in 27 months. Higher salaries were attributed by panellists to competition for scarce qualified staff.

Unemployment:  Jobless rate drops to ten-year low

The UK unemployment rate continued to fall in the three months to November, dropping to 5.1%. That was the lowest since the three months to October 2005. The number of unemployed people declined by 99,000 to 1.68 million in the three-month period.

Concurrently, the employment rate hit a record 74%. However, the latest average earnings figures again showed softness, easing to 2.0% including bonuses in the three months to November, the slowest since early-2015.

The jobless rate is now below its pre-crisis average of 5.2%, yet pay pressures have failed to materialise, adding further weight to concerns that near-zero inflation may be holding down pay settlements across the labour force despite tighter staff availability.


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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