Growth in Permanent Placements Reaches One-Year High

Growth in Permanent Placements Reaches One-Year High

The REC Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

Stronger growth of permanent staff placements

Growth in permanent placements picked up from January’s recent low to reach a one-year high in February. In contrast, temp billings increased at the softest pace in four months.

Demand for staff reaches 18-month peak

Job vacancies continued to increase in February. Overall, demand for staff rose at the quickest rate in one-and-a-half years, with both permanent and temporary workers seeing faster increases.

Candidate availability declines at faster pace

The availability of staff to fill job vacancies declined sharply in February. Both permanent and short-term candidate supply deteriorated and to a greater extent than at the start of the year, with the former noting the steepest rate of reduction.

Sharper increase in salaries

Starting salaries for candidates placed into permanent roles increased at the quickest pace since March 2016 in February. Meanwhile, temp pay growth picked up slightly from January and was the second-fastest seen in nine months. 

Regional and sector variation

Data split by region indicated that permanent placements increased across all four English regions in February, while Scotland saw the first expansion since September 2016.

Private sector demand for staff remained substantially stronger than that for public sector staff in February. Therefore, demand for permanent staff at private sector firms reached a 20-month high, while vacancies for temporary roles in the sector also increased sharply.

Meanwhile, public sector demand rose modestly for both permanent and temporary staff in February.