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UK – Strongest increase for temporary billings in seven months

08 July 2013

The demand for staff is at its strongest in three years, resulting in temporary billings hitting a seven month high in June, according to the latest KPMG/REC Report on Jobs. Permanent placements reached a 26 month high in June; however recruitment consultants signalled a drop in candidate availability for permanent jobs. In comparison, temporary candidate availability continued to improve.

“The latest figures reveal permanent placements enjoying their highest growth rates for over two years and temporary roles being filled at the quickest pace since Christmas. Perhaps the sun has finally come out to shine on the jobs markets and economy at large. Employers seem to think so. Many have stepped up their search for staff with demand for staff accelerating to a three year high. Confidence is even beginning to show itself with employers prepared to increase [the] salaries they offer to new employees,” said Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG.

Billings received by employment agencies from the employment of temporary/contract staff rose for the second month running in June. The rate of growth has reached its strongest level since November 2012. Data from the Office of National Statistics showed that job vacancies were up +10.3% on an annual basis in the three months to May. That was up slightly from +9.9% in the three months to April and the fastest growth for nearly three years.

Temporary vacancies in nursing/medical/care dropped from the top ranking in 2012, outperformed by the engineering sector. This year marks the first time that engineering and construction have been calculated separately, providing no annual comparison figures for either sector. The Report on Jobs indices show increased demand for temporary billings in all nine sectors, with the smallest increases recorded in accounting/finance and executive/professional. Areas of key temporary skills in short supply were; engineering, customer services, advertising, and IT programmers.

“Our main concern is that the soaring success of the jobs market and signs of economic recovery could be undermined if the government does not do more to address the growing skills gap. Roles in engineering and IT are in ever increasing demand as recruiters struggle to source the talent that businesses need to succeed. However, more roles, such as sales and digital marketing, have been added to this growing list in the last couple of months and show no signs of disappearing. The war for talent in growth sectors is driving starting salaries to increase at the fastest pace in two years,” said Kevin Green, REC chief executive.   

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