Candidate shortage continues as perm placements rise

Candidate shortage continues as perm placements rise

Permanent staff placements increased at a stronger rate in November. With the rate of expansion quickening to a seven-month high.

That’s according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs.

Additionally, temporary and contract staff billings also rose at a faster pace. With growth the sharpest in five months.       

The availability of staff for both permanent and temporary/contract roles fell at sharp and accelerated rates in November. 

However shortages of candidates for a range of skill-sets were reported. 

Permanent staff salaries continued to rise in November and panellists cited strong competition for qualified staff. Temporary and contract staff hourly pay rates also rose at the fastest pace in three months.

Growth of permanent placements was broad-based across the regions during November. The fastest rate of expansion signalled in the North.

Midlands-based agencies reported the fastest growth of temp billings during November.  The slowest rise was signalled by those in the South. 

The November data found that demand for staff remained considerably stronger in the private sector than the public sector.

All nine categories of permanent staff registered increased demand in November. The strongest growth was reported for IT workers, closely followed by Financial and Professional staff.

The Medical and Care sector remained top in the temp staff demand ‘league table’ in November. Just ahead of Financial, IT & Computing and Engineering. Construction was the only sector where a marginal fall was signalled.

REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says: “Businesses are confident, with more people finding permanent jobs each month and pay increasing – this is a great way to cap a bumper year for the UK labour market.

“Such is the demand for staff that the availability of people to fill temporary roles has fallen at the sharpest rate in 18 years. In part this has been driven by businesses taking on additional staff for the Christmas period.

“In some sectors, skill shortages could make this a sad Christmas. For example, more than two thirds of recruiters that supply drivers said that a shortage of candidates will cause chaos for shops and delayed deliveries for shoppers.

“As we look ahead to 2016 the data suggests that the public sector is starting to cut its recruitment activity as austerity bites, while the private sector is still hunting for skills and talent.”

Bernard Brown Partner at KPMG says: “November saw a further tightening of labour market conditions, with few sectors remaining immune from the effects of ongoing skills shortages.  Wages in the construction sector rose yet again, with the ONS reporting weekly earnings surging by 6%, double the average pay rise awarded across the rest of the economy.

“Recruiters will hope the annual influx of job hunters in January will reinvigorate the market and replenish the rapidly diminishing pool of available talent.”

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