Growth in permanent staff placements hits joint-record high in December…
§ Permanent staff appointments grow at joint-sharpest pace in survey history
§ Midlands staff appointments increase at sharper pace than in other English regions
§ Permanent salaries rise for ninth month running
The Report on Jobs: Midlands contains original data from the survey of recruitment and employment consultants in the Midlands. The report is designed to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to labour market trends and the data are directly comparable with the UK Report on Jobs.
Sharpest growth of permanent placements since October 1997
Permanent placements in the Midlands increased for the seventeenth successive month in December, and at the joint-sharpest pace in over 16 years of data collection. A number of respondents cited an increase in clients as a key driver behind the latest rise in permanent appointments.
December saw the rate of growth in temporary billings pick up from the previous survey period. The pace of expansion was well above the historical series average. Survey respondents attributed the latest increase to an expansion in demand for labour, in part from the health and social care sector.
The Midlands saw sharper increases in temporary and permanent placements than any of the other English regions in December. Growth was nevertheless strong in every region.
Permanent candidate numbers fall steeply in the Midlands
December marked the eighth consecutive month of decline in permanent candidate availability in the Midlands. The rate of contraction eased fractionally from November’s nine-year record, but remained sharper than the average recorded across the UK as a whole.
Temporary staff availability fell for the fifth month running in December, though the pace of decline eased slightly from November. That said, the rate of contraction in the availability of temporary staff in the Midlands was markedly sharper than that recorded across the UK as a whole.
Of the four English regions surveyed, the Midlands saw the sharpest decline in both temporary and permanent candidate availability in December. The weakest declines were seen in the North of England.
Growth in temporary pay rates outstrips UK average
December marked the ninth successive monthly increase in permanent salaries in the Midlands. Moreover, the pace at which salaries grew accelerated slightly from November, though failed to match October’s six-year high. Anecdotal evidence suggested that a rise in management positions and an increase in competition for top candidates between firms had been key drivers behind the latest increase.
Contract pay in the Midlands rose for the eleventh successive month in December. The pace of inflation slowed from November, but remained solid and surpassed the UK average for the fifth consecutive month. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the latest increase was driven by an expansion of demand for temporary staff.
Growth in permanent pay in the Midlands was the weakest among the English regions in December. However, the reverse was true for temporary pay. The South saw the fastest rise in permanent salaries, while London recorded the sharpest increase in temp pay.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s head of policy Kate Shoesmith says:
“The labour market in the Midlands is starting the New Year in robust form. Our latest figures show growth in the number of people finding new permanent jobs for the seventeenth month in a row and increasing demand for temp workers has driven up hourly pay rates for agency workers. Growing confidence means more and more employers are willing to invest in their workforce and take on more people.
“The real concern now is the mismatch between demand and supply with recruiters reporting that they can’t source suitable candidates for vacancies in a whole range of sectors. Local companies want to hire more salespeople, marketers and drivers but can’t find people with the right skills to take the jobs.”
Mike Steventon, Midlands chairman of KPMG, says:
“We enter the New Year with growth in permanent staff placements at a record high in the Midlands. The fact that the figures show permanent salaries have risen for the ninth month in row, combined with staff appointments increase, indicates that we can expect salaries to increase and job fluidity to accelerate into 2014.
“Though recovery is clearly gaining momentum, it will remain delicate until exports show stronger growth and employers are confident in the permanency of the recovery. There is growing evidence of a skills shortage with December marking the eighth consecutive month of decline in available candidates. There is now a real risk that an increase in demand from employers could drive salaries higher as companies compete to attract and retain skilled employees.”
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