Changing employers is becoming a more attractive option for those looking for more money…

Growth in placements reaches one-year high

Key points from the February survey:

  • Permanent placements increase at quickest pace in one year…
  • Demand for staff reaches 18-month peak

Although permanent placements have hit a 12 month high, businesses across the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit for permanent roles. The big question still remains about how employers will fill their vacancies.

There are  acute staff shortages in a variety of sectors, from healthcare to engineering. This is likely to get worse, especially if the Government continues to refuse the rights of EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit.

On the flip-side, this is a good time for individuals prepared to move jobs, with bumper pay offers on the table as hirers compete to secure the talent available. In the context of rising inflation and stagnating pay growth, changing employers is becoming a more attractive option for those looking for more money.

Stronger growth of permanent staff placements

Growth in permanent placements picked up from January’s recent low to reach a one-year high in February.

Demand for staff reaches 18-month peak

Job vacancies continued to increase in February. Overall, demand for staff rose at the quickest rate in one-and-a-half years, with both permanent and temporary workers seeing faster increases.

Candidate availability declines at faster pace

The availability of staff to fill job vacancies declined sharply in February. Both permanent and short-term candidate supply deteriorated and to a greater extent than at the start of the year, with the former noting the steepest rate of reduction.

Sharper increase in salaries

Starting salaries for candidates placed into permanent roles increased at the quickest pace since March 2016 in February.


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Growth in permanent placements slows slightly in December

Key points from the December survey:


  • Slightly weaker rise in permanent placements…


  • Candidate availability declines at weakest pace for over three years


Growth in permanent staff placements softens slightly…

A further increase in permanent staff placements during December, though the rate of growth softened slightly from November’s nine-month peak.


Softer decline in candidate availability

The availability of candidates continued to decline at the end of the year, albeit at the weakest rate in over three years.


Sustained upward pressure on pay

Starting salaries for successful candidates placed in permanent jobs continued to increase in December. Though solid, the rate of growth was the slowest seen for five months.


The jobs market continues to beat expectations as we begin the New Year. More people are finding jobs each month, and demand for staff is growing. We’ve seen two months of growth in London, which is particularly encouraging following a difficult period between the EU referendum and October.


The big question for 2017 is about how employers will fill vacancies. The unemployment rate is at a record low and candidate availability for temporary jobs has been getting worse for the last three and a half years.

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Permanent placements see stronger growth in October

blue news

Key points from the October survey:

  • Permanent placements growth reaches eight-month high 
  • Demand for permanent candidates at its highest since May
  • Decline in staff availability

Despite ongoing uncertainty the UK jobs market is thriving again in most areas of the UK. Job vacancies are back to levels not seen since April, and for the third consecutive month recruiters have reported an increase in the amount of people finding permanent jobs.

Permanent and temporary placements rise solidly…

The amount of people placed in permanent roles increased for the third month running in October. Moreover, the rate of expansion quickened to the steepest recorded in eight months. 

…as demand for staff improves further

The robust increase in staff appointments was supported by increased employee vacancies in the latest period. Furthermore, demand for both permanent staff was at the highest since May.

Stronger increase in salaries

Permanent staff starting salaries rose further in October, with the rate of increase picking up to its strongest for five months.

Further drop in candidate availability

The availability of permanent candidates continued to decline in October, and at a steeper rate than in September.

Availability of permanent staff

Permanent staff availability deteriorated during October, thereby extending the current trend to three-and-a-half years. Furthermore, the rate of reduction was sharper than seen in the previous month.

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Nationally skills shortages bite as permanent placements rise at slowest rate in eight months…

Key points from the May survey:

  • Weaker rise in permanent placements amid EU referendum uncertainty
  • Pay growth softens but remains marked.

Slower growth of staff appointments…

Permanent staff placements continued to rise in May, but the rate of expansion eased to an eight-month low. Temporary/contract staff billings growth also eased, following April’s 13-month high.

…despite robust demand for staff

Vacancies rose at a marked pace in May, with the rate of growth quickening slightly since April. Stronger increases were recorded for both permanent and short-term employees.

Pay growth moderates…

Permanent staff salary growth eased to a 31-month low in May, although remained above the survey’s historical average. Having increased at the strongest rate in almost nine years during April (partly driven by the new National Living Wage), temporary/contract staff pay posted a slower but still marked rise in May. decline in candidate availability eases further

Further reductions in staff availability were signalled in May. However, slower falls were indicated for both permanent and temporary/contract staff, with the latest declines the least marked in over two-and-a-half years.

In the South (excluding London) though permanent placements growth strongest this year so far..

Key points from May survey:

  • South continues to record strong growth in permanent jobs
  • Permanent and temporary wages continue to grow at strong rates

Permanent candidate supply falls at weaker rate

The availability of staff to fill job vacancies fell for the thirty-fifth consecutive month in May. The rate of decline remained steep, but was the least marked among the four monitored English regions.

Permanent salaries

Starting salaries for permanent jobs in the South of England rose at the sharpest rate in 2016 so far during May. Furthermore, the rate of salary inflation outpaced the UK average for the twelfth month running.
With thanks to Markit /REC
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Quick stats

Pensions uncertainty

Almost half of business owners without a workplace pension scheme are still unclear about their responsibilities, with a quarter not confident their business can cope. and FSB pole has found…


The proportion of small firms that say they would recommend their bank to others – up from 23% in 2014.


The amount owed by British small firms in late payment according to insurance firm Zurich.

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Pay Is Not Only Workers Gripe




A Job Exodus Trends poll carried out in December 2015 by Investors in People has found that many employees want improvements in the quality of their working life more than they want a pay rise.  In the survey, employees across the UK were asked to choose between a 3 per cent increase in pay and a range of non-pay-related benefits.

Among those who responded, 34 per cent would rather have flexible working than a 3 per cent pay increase, 28 per cent favoured clear career progression rather than the extra money and 24 per cent would prefer more training and development.

Almost half of the survey’s respondents said that they would be looking for a new job in 2016, with 43 per cent of those citing poor management as the main reason they wished to change jobs, followed by feeling undervalued (39 per cent) and unsatisfactory pay (38 per cent).

One in five employees felt that their workload was too high and 27 per cent were unhappy with the level of pay that they received.

A lack of career progression was a source of dissatisfaction for 23 per cent of employees.


With thank to The Voice, March/April 2016

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Pension Plan Pay Warning



Just one in ten self-employed workers paid into a personal pension plan in 2013/14, according to an analysis by pension firm Prudential of the most recent data made available by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Office for National Statistics.


This is a sharp drop on the 2001/02 figure of 34 per cent.  In that year, 1.1m self-employed workers made pension payments and the total value of their contributions was £2.5b.  Twelve years on, only 420,000 self-employed workers were making pension payments, and the total value of contributions was only £1.6b.  This is despite the fact that the number of self-employed workers is at a record high of 4.6m, and leaves more than 4m workers without adequate arrangements for their retirement.


A 2014 survey, also by Prudential, indicated that the main reason for failing to contribute to a pension plan is affordability.  More than half (57 per cent) of self-employed workers either don‘t have enough money or put other financial priorities ahead of pensions, with 9 per cent preferring to plough any spare case back into the business.


With thanks to The Voice magazine, March/April 2016

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Golden Oldies

Do you want to hire ambitious young go-getters or experienced staff with a touch of silver in their hair?

Old v Young


The FSB survey of attitudes to skills reveals the older generation offer far more than their millennial rivals.  We asked employers “which skills are most lacking?” in recruits under the age of 24 and over the age of 50.

Headteachers should take a long look at the results.



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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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November Job Market Report

Report on Jobs – November

Key points from the October survey:

  • Growth of both permanent placements and temp billings accelerates
  • Salaries continue to rise strongly
  • Candidate availability remains tight

Faster growth of permanent and temporary appointments…

October data signalled a further increase in permanent staff placements. Growth was solid and the sharpest in four months. Around 41% of panellists reported higher placements, citing robust demand for staff. Temporary/contract staff billings also rose at a faster pace, with the rate of expansion at a three-month high.

…underpinned by robust demand for staff

Vacancies continued to rise at a marked pace in October. Growth of demand for permanent employees remained sharper than that for temporary/contract staff. Growth also remained considerably stronger for the private sector rather than the public. Accounting/Financial remained the most sought-after category for permanent staff in October.

Strong salary growth maintained…

Permanent staff salary growth remained strong in October, and was similar to the rates seen during the third quarter. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay increased at a solid pace, albeit slower than that seen for permanent salaries.

Data from the Office for National Statistics indicated that annual growth of employee earnings (including bonuses) quickened to 3.0% in the three months to August, from 2.9% in the three months to July. Earnings growth rose to 3.4% in the private sector, remaining well above that in the public sector (1.1%).

Data from the Office for National Statistics signalled that average weekly earnings across the UK rose 2.5% year on-year to £580 in the second quarter of 2015. The East Midlands posted the strongest annual rise, up 11.3% to £547. The sharpest fall was seen in the South West, where average weekly earnings were down -1.9% on the previous year to £550.

…as candidate availability continues to fall

The availability of staff to fill permanent job roles fell further in October. Although easing to the slowest since January, the rate of decline remained sharp. Temporary/contract staff availability also decreased markedly, and at a slightly faster pace than in September. Around 36% of panellists reported lower permanent staff availability, three times the proportion that noted a rise. Permanent candidate availability fell in each of the four monitored regions, with the sharpest drop signalled in the Midlands.

Feature: Unemployment

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the UK unemployment rate dropped to a seven-year low of 5.4% in the three months to August.

There were 1.77 million people out of work in the latest period, down 79,000 from the previous quarter. The decline in unemployment more than reversed the increases seen in each of the previous three survey periods.

Employment rose to 22.77 million, up 140,000 on the quarter. Compared with one year previously, the total was 359,000 higher, of which 291,000 were full-time jobs. At 73.6%, the employment rate was at a record high

.UK unemployment Oct Job market report

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