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UK – Temporary billings growth eases

08 October 2013

September data signalled a further increase in temporary/contract staff billings. Although moderating from the 15-year high posted in August, the rate of growth remained strong, according to the latest Report on Jobs from KPMG and the REC.

Recruitment consultants signalled a further substantial rise in permanent staff placements during September. The pace of expansion was only slightly slower than July’s 40-month high. Temporary billings similarly increased at a sharp rate, with growth rate close to the 15-year high seen in August.

September data also indicated a further reduction in the availability of candidates. Solid rates of decline were indicated for both permanent and temporary staff availability. Permanent salary inflation quickened slighted in September, reaching its sharpest rate since February 2008. Temporary pay inflation also acceleration, with the latest rise only marginally slower than July’s five-and-a-half year high.

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said: “With another month of data showcasing a strong rise in the number of appointments and job offers of the table, it seems that business is warming to call for investment from [Governor of the Bank of England] Mark Carney. Improved market conditions, higher activity levels amongst clients and generally stronger levels of confidence amongst employers are certainly one of the major factors underpinning the latest rise in placements.”

“Only last week the Bank of England argues that recovery will only be sustainable over the long term if regions beyond London grow strongly. Against this backdrop it is also welcome news to see permanent placement increase across the whole country. The North is showing the strongest growth, with the Midlands driving a rise in temporary placements. It is a sign that local economies are picking up and gives hope that economic recovery is not dependent on one area or sector,” he added.

Growth of demand was broad-based across all nine temporary/contract staff sectors in the latest survey period. Engineering workers were the most sought-after. Mirroring the trend seen for permanent staff, the weakest growth was signalled for Hotel & Catering employees.

Key temporary skills reported in short supply include; Accountancy, HGV drivers, Joiners, Labourers, Skilled trades, Engineers, Technicians, Chefs, Business analysts, Legal secretaries, and Sales persons.     

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