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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December Job Market Report

Key points for December:

  • Permanent and temporary appointments both increase at sharper rates
  • Candidate availability tightens further
  • Pay growth remains marked


Faster growth of staff appointments

The number of people placed in permanent jobs increased further in November. The rate of growth was marked, having accelerated to the sharpest since April. Higher placements were recorded at around 38% of panellists, compared with approximately 27% that noted a decline. Anecdotal evidence from recruiters pointed to increased confidence and higher activity levels at client companies.

Growth of permanent placements was broad-based across the monitored English regions during November, with the fastest rate of expansion signalled in the North.


Vacancy growth eases but still strong

Demand for staff continued to rise in November. Although easing to a 29-month low, the rate of expansion remained marked overall.  The data also signalled that demand for staff remained considerably stronger in the private sector than the public sector.

Latest official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) signalled that vacancies rose 5.3% on an annual basis in the three months to October. That was the slowest growth in three years.


Candidate availability falls at sharper rate

The availability of staff for both permanent and temporary/contract roles fell at sharp and accelerated rates in November with around 44% of panellists reporting a reduction versus less than 7% indicating a rise. All four English regions saw lower levels of permanent staff availability during the latest survey period. The sharpest falls were signalled in the South and London. Shortages of candidates for a range of skill-sets were reported by panellists.

All nine categories of permanent staff registered increased demand in November. The strongest growth was reported for IT & Computing workers, closely followed by Accounting/Financial and Executive/Professional staff.


Pay growth remains marked

Permanent staff salaries continued to rise in November. The latest increase was again strong, with panellists citing competition for qualified staff. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates rose at the fastest pace in three months, although growth remained slower than that seen for permanent employees.

Around one-quarter of panellists noted higher salaries, which they attributed to rising demand and shortages of qualified candidates. Higher salaries were indicated in all four English regions; with the Midlands posting the strongest increase overall.


Feature: Labour Market Tightness

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlighted a further tightening of UK labour market conditions. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% in the three months to September, down from 5.4% in the three months to August – the lowest since early-2008.

The actual number of people in unemployment fell by 103,000 in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter. That was the largest drop for a year and left overall unemployment at 1.749 million, the lowest in over seven years.

There are now just 2.4 unemployed people per vacancy, down from a peak of 5.9 four years ago. The current level of the vacancy ratio has in the past been consistent with stronger rates of pay growth than are currently being witnessed, suggesting that an increase in the rate of salary growth may be in store.

Nov Job market report graph

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The Week in Numbers – 3rd November

The Week in Numbers – 3rd November 2015blue news

44% – Year-on-year rise in pension investment inflows reported by St James’s Place in the third quarter , from £430m to £620m

0.5% – Growth in UK GDP in the third quarter, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics

£15.4m – Redress that payday lender Dollar Financial UK will pay to over 147,000 customers after reaching an agreement with the FCA

£204k – salary of MAS corporate services director Lesley Robinson in 2014/15. Robinson is leaving the organisation to join MDL Marinas

£150m – Year-on-year rise in investment-linked bond sales recorded by LV= in the first nine months of 2015, from £98m to £248m

70% – Proportion of 500 adviser websites surveyed by Which? that do not publish their charges online

£474.6bn – Amount wiped off the assets of some of the UK’s largest fund managers in the wake of the China crisis in the third quarter

£452.6m – Total amount lent through equity release products during Q3, £68.3m more than the previous quarter – the biggest quarterly rise in 11 years.


Quote of the week: “They need to put the fire out first before repainting the hallway” – Cazalet Consulting chief executive Ned Cazalet on the need for platforms to address immediate regulatory challenges before tech upgrades.


Originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 29th October 2015

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The Week in Numbers – 23rd Sept 2015

51% – Proportion of people who do not know if their provider levies charges for admin chartmanaging their pension pot.

0% – CPI inflation in August, down from 0.1% in July according to the Office for National Statistics

80% – Proportion of investment houses that publish out-of-date fund data, research by fintech company Instinct Studios shows

5.2% – House price growth in the year to July 2015, down from 5.7% in the 12 months to June, according to the ONS

59.5% – Proportion of Labour members who voted for Jeremy Corbyn to become leader of the Labour Party

23,000 – Jobs to be cut by Deutsche Bank, a quarter of its workforce, reports say

£2.4bn – size of the longevity swap deal agreed between Friends Life and Heineken this week

2 – Number of ABI members which have left the trade body in the past 13 months, with Aegon following in L&Gs footsteps this week


Originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 17th Sept 2015
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