The Markit/REC Report on Jobs has shown permanent staff placements continuing to rise in November, with the rate of growth quickening to its sharpest since February. Temporary/contract staff appointments also rose at a quicker pace, with the rate of growth reaching a seven-month high.
The latest survey pointed to further strong demand for staff, with employee vacancies rising at steeper rates for both permanent and temporary roles. The availability of staff for filling job vacancies continued to fall during November. Latest data pointed to the fastest decline in permanent staff availability for eight months, while temporary staff availability also dropped at a quicker rate. The rate of growth in permanent starting salaries edged up to a six-month high in November. Short-term pay rates also continued to rise, and at the fastest rate since August. On a regional basis, the North continued to see the strongest increase in permanent placements, while the Midlands also saw marked growth. The only region to see a decline was Scotland.
All of the regions monitored by the survey bar Scotland saw short-term staff billings increase in November. The most marked rates of expansion were seen in the North and London. November survey data pointed to further robust demand for private sector staff. While vacancies increased sharply for both permanent and temporary roles, both saw growth ease slightly since the previous month. At the same time, demand for public sector staff increased during November. Though the rates of increase were modest, it was the first time that vacancies for permanent and temporary roles had both increased in the sector since July. November data signalled a broad-based upturn in demand for permanent staff. The strongest rate of growth was seen for Engineering staff, followed by IT and computing. Hotels and catering continued to see the slowest increase in demand. Demand for temporary staff was strongest for Blue Collar roles in November. Nonetheless, nursing/medical/care also saw a sharp rise in demand. The only sector that saw demand fall for short-term staff was construction.
“The jobs market is ending the year on a high with appointments and vacancies at levels not seen since February, “notes REC chief executive Kevin Green. “In all parts of the UK recruiters are reporting increasing demand, so clearly businesses continue to seek growth in their workforces. “The main concern as we look forward to 2017 is an increasing skills shortage,” he continued. “The UK employment rate is at a record high and jobs are going unfilled in key areas. We need engineers to deliver infrastructure projects, carers and nurses to look after our ageing population, teachers to educate our young people, and right now we are short of warehouse workers, drivers and chefs to meet demand over Christmas.
“In the longer term, improving hiring and training of young people via apprenticeships will help to ensure that employers develop a pipeline of people with the required skills. But there is an immediate need which must be met now so that businesses can thrive. “Talent shortages will be exacerbated if the government imposes restrictions on people coming to the UK from abroad. This might result