We were delighted to see that the October Markit/REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation) report showed that demand for non-permanent workers is at its highest since May 2016. The ‘Report on Jobs’ – published on the 8th November – provides contractors with a comprehensive monthly picture of recruitment, vacancies and earnings in all regions and sectors of the UK labour market. It is the most comprehensive guide to the labour market in the UK, and as is based on original survey data which comes from recruitment consultancies across the country.
Temporary and contract staff placements rose at a faster pace in October, growing to a five month high by the end of the month. At the same time, pay rates for temporary/contract staff also increased slightly over September’s figure, showing a pleasing upturn after a noticeable low earlier in the year. In terms of regional variations, the North saw the strongest increase in temporary staff billings, with other areas remaining static or showing a smaller increase – apart from Scotland, which saw a slight fall.
The private sector showed a significant and pleasing increase in vacancies for non-permanent workers during October, which is great news for contractors – although in comparison, temporary roles in the public sector showed a slight decrease at the same time. And in terms of job types, all categories saw an upturn, with blue collar roles leading the way – while executive/professional opportunities showed the least amount of growth.
Commenting on the latest report, Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said that ‘despite ongoing uncertainty’ the jobs market is thriving again in most areas of the UK. But he also warned that, while job vacancies are back to levels not seen since April, candidate availability has been falling for three and a half years. This means that there are more vacancies than there are people to fill them in many sectors, including engineering, construction and healthcare – which of course represents a great opportunity for new and existing contractors to get out there and find the best roles.