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January 2017 - Recruitment survey results

08 February 2017

Key Points from January Employment Survey:

Slower increases in both permanent placements and temp billings

Demand for staff reaches 17-month high

Availability of permanent candidates drops at faster pace

Employers are crying out for people to fill vacancies. Fewer candidates are available in all regions including our own, and this is dampening jobs growth.  If businesses can’t find the people they need they will outsource abroad, automate activity or shut up shop, resulting in fewer jobs available to UK nationals. More can be done to encourage under-represented groups into work, including disabled people, single parents and older workers. But the idea that this will resolve the talent shortage is pie in the sky.

Permanent placements increase at softest pace in four months. January data signalled a further marked increase in permanent staff placements, despite the rate of growth easing to its slowest since September 2016.

Temp billings growth weakens slightly. Growth in temp billings remained sharp in January, in spite of the rate of expansion easing from December’s eight-month peak.

Candidate availability continues to tighten. Recruitment agencies a reporting a drop in candidate availability at the start of 2017. Permanent staff availability declined at a slightly faster rate than that for temp.

The nett result will be continued upward pressure on pay to attract the right people. Permanent staff starting salaries increased at a sharp and accelerated pace in January, with the rate of inflation the quickest in nine months. At the same time, growth in temp pay rates weakened from December’s seven-month record.