•  Faster increase in permanent salaries but temp pay growth eases
  • Sharper decline in candidate availability
  • Growth of staff appointments eases but remains strong


The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

Permanent salary growth accelerates

Starting salaries for people placed in permanent jobs increased strongly in March, with growth picking up to the sharpest since July 2007. However, temporary/contact staff pay increased at the slowest rate in five months.

Steeper decline in candidate availability

Recruitment consultants indicated further reductions in the availability of candidates in March. Permanent staff availability fell at the sharpest rate since October 2004, while the latest drop in temporary/contract staff availability was the fastest in almost 10 years.

Permanent and temporary appointments rise at slower rates

Rates of growth in both permanent and temporary staff appointments eased during March, but remained strong overall.

Further marked increase in vacancies

Demand for staff continued to rise at a marked pace in March, with the rate of expansion only just shy of January’s 15½-year high.

Regional and sector variation

Marked increases in permanent placements were recorded in each of the four English regions monitored by the survey, with the strongest growth indicated in the North.

The Midlands led a broad-based upturn in short-term staff billings in March. The slowest growth was recorded in the North.

Private sector demand for staff remained stronger than that in the public sector during March. The fastest growth was signalled for private sector permanent roles, although private sector temporary vacancies also recorded a strong rise.

In the public sector, solid increases in demand were seen, with public sector positions registering a faster rise than private sector roles.

Demand rose for all nine types of permanent staff in March. The strongest growth was signalled for Engineering workers, while the slowest increase was recorded for Blue Collar employees.

Nursing/Medical/Care led a broad-based expansion of demand for temporary/contract staff in March. Engineering and Blue Collar were in second and third places respectively in the demand for staff ‘league table’.

REC Director of Policy Tom Hadley said: “The trend of growth in people finding jobs across all industrial sectors and regions continues. Starting salaries and hourly pay rates are up as employers battle to entice the talent they need. As real wages begin to rise across the jobs market people will start to feel better off.

“However worsening candidate shortages mean that the number of people available to fill both temporary and permanent jobs is falling at the sharpest rate in nearly a decade. We have a core group of long-term unemployed people whose skills don’t fit with current vacancies and are unable to access the jobs market.

“As well as up skilling UK workers, the government needs to take a joined up approach to immigration. A priority is addressing the restrictions on visas for highly skilled workers, which would allow businesses to access the people they need to grow and create jobs for more British workers.”

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “More jobs are popping up all over the UK as employers gear up for a busy spring, and as a result, competition between candidates is easing. In many parts of the country there are now more jobs advertised than jobseekers, and top talent is becoming harder to source. Adzuna real-time data shows vacancies are continuing to pick-up into March, and could top 850,000 by the end of the month. If this trend continues, it will push the balance of the labour market further into the hands of jobseekers, allowing them to be more selective in their job hunt, and giving them more power to negotiate on salaries.”

“As vacancies continue to open up, and competition for jobs falls further, employers will be forced to increase advertised wages in order to attract the best talent. Now it is just a question of time until wages begin to pick-up, and jobseekers begin to feel the benefits of cash in their pockets.”