Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK.

The key points changes this month

  • Permanent placements increased but at a slower pace
  • Salaries continue to rise in April
  • However, the availability of permanent candidates continues to reduce

Slowest increase in permanent placements since Sept 2016

The number of permanent placements increased across the UK, though at its slowest pace for seven months. The strongest pace of expansion was in the Midlands, with the slowest in London.

Supply of candidates drops sharply

A drop in job seekers for permanent positions has seen the availability of candidates continue to reduce at its quickest pace for 16 months, with most markedly in the South.

Salaries continue to increase

Salaries for permanent staff continued to rise but at a slower pace to previous months. The highest increase has been seen in the South, followed by Scotland and the Midlands. The demand for quality staff and competition for skilled candidates has driven salaries higher.

Demand for staff remains sharp

There is a strong demand for permanent staff and vacancies continued to rise considerably throughout April.

Commentary : Demand for staff is growing within all sectors and all regions of the UK, but there are fewer and fewer people available to fill the vacancies. The UK ha the lowest unemployment rate since 2005, and people already in work are becoming more hesitant about moving jobs amid Brexit uncertainty. Meanwhile, the weakening pound and lack of clarity about future immigration rules is putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK.

As a result, candidate availability is at a 16-month low and there is a  shortage of suitable applicants for a variety of  roles. Every shortage has wider implications, for example the exceptional reputation UK engineering enjoys globally is at risk because employers can’t find people with the skills they need.

One thing is for certain, if British business is to thrive then whichever party forms a government after 8 June needs to address the ever-shrinking pool of suitable candidates by investing in skills and career advice for UK jobseekers, as well as safeguarding access to the workers we need from abroad. It is vital that the future immigration system is agile enough to reflect and adapt to evolving labour market needs.

 

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About

Simon Bean is managing director of the Recruitment Connection and has been recruiting since 1985. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP).