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Throughout 2012, employers across the UK have continued to rely on temporary staff in professional and management jobs, according to new research by Staffing Industry Analysts and the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
Although demand for permanent workers this year declined due to economic uncertainty, temporary staff benefitted from increased demand. The number of temporary placements in professional jobs rose by +4% in the months to November 2012 while permanent placements dropped by -2%.
“We have seen positive news on employment recently with the Office for National Statistics reporting both an overall fall in unemployment and a rise in the number of permanent jobs,” said Ann Swain of APSCo. “Employers’ preference for offering temporary contracts has intensified right through to the end of the year.”
In 2012, temporary workers were most in demand in the IT sector where the number of placements rose by over +6%. In marketing & media, temporary placements increased by +8% over the course of the year.
“Overall, 2012 has not been a particularly dynamic year for staffing agencies and growth for many has been moderate at best. In general, those offering specialist, higher-skilled categories of staff have done better than those providing personnel in lower-skilled administrative and blue collar roles, especially if they have exposure to the public sector,” said John Nurthen, of Staffing Industry Analysts.
“For 2013, we’re forecasting that demand from employers for both permanent and temporary roles will be a little stronger, especially once we get to the second half of the year. However, the recovery is still fragile so any uplift in employment could be deferred if the government’s economic expectations are not met.”