The Report on Jobs is a monthly publication produced by Markit Economics and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG LLP.

The report features original survey data which provide the most up-to-date monthly picture of recruitment, employment, staff availability and employee earnings trends available.

Key points from July survey:

  • Permanent placements declined for the fifth consecutive month, with the latest drop the sharpest since November 2001.
  • Temporary/contract staff billings fell for the first time since May 2003, and at a series- record pace.
  • Overall demand for staff contracted at the fastest pace for eighty months.
  • Nursing/Medical/Care was the only staff category where growth of vacancies was recorded.
  • The availability of both permanent and temporary candidates rose at strong and accelerated rates.
  • Pay inflation moderated further, with only marginal increases in permanent salaries and temp pay signalled.

Commenting on the latest survey results, Alan Nolan, Director at KPMG said:

“The slide in the UK economy continues to hit the jobs market hard – with yet another sharp drop in recruitment.

UK employers are continuing to control payroll costs through redundancies – and by refusing to take advantage of a growing (but increasingly unused) pool of skilled labour. These workers are starting to drift abroad in search of employment – and there is a risk that (when the market turns) the UK will be left behind by a skills shortage.

Employers have to meet their fiscal obligations to HM Revenue and Customs in full and on time with stringent penalties and interest for non-compliance. It may now be time for Government to consider kick-starting the jobs market by relaxing this legislation – enabling the possibility of tax payment deferrals or ‘holidays’.” 

The main findings for July are:

Marked decline in staff appointments..

Latest data from the survey of recruitment consultancies signalled a substantial drop in the number of people placed in permanent placements during August, with the rate of decline accelerating to the sharpest since November 2001. Agencies’ temp billings also fell, and at a survey-record pace.

…as vacancies contracted further

Lower placements and billings reflected declining demand for staff. Permanent vacancies fell at the fastest pace for eighty months, while temp vacancies fell for only the second time in the series history.

Muted pay growth…

Recruitment consultants reported very modest rises in permanent and temporary staff pay in August, citing weak demand for staff and an improved supply of available candidates.

…reflected strongly rising candidate availability

Amid reports of recent redundancies and a lack of suitable jobs, the availability of staff to fill vacancies increased substantially in August. The supply of both permanent and temporary candidates increased at sharp and accelerated rates.