The main findings for December 2022 from the latest UK Report on Jobs, sponsored by KPMG and the REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation), are as follows (the full report is available on request):
Permanent staff appointments fall at quicker pace
The number of people placed into permanent jobs fell for the third month running at the end of 2022, as increased economic uncertainty and pressure on budgets weighed on recruitment plans. The rate of reduction was the quickest seen since January 2021, when the third national lockdown dampened hiring. Temp billings meanwhile expanded further in December, though the rate of growth remained modest overall.
Overall growth of vacancies slips to 22-month low
Recruitment consultancies signalled a sustained rise in demand for staff in December. That said, the overall rate of vacancy growth weakened for the ninth straight month and was the slowest seen since the current period of recovery began in February 2021. This was driven by a weaker upturn in permanent staff demand, as temp vacancies expanded at a slightly quicker pace.
Candidate supply falls at softest pace since March 2021
Uncertainty surrounding the outlook also dampened candidate availability, as more people became cautious around seeking out new roles in the current climate. Combined with an already tight labour market, this drove further drops in the supply of both permanent and temporary labour. However, reports of redundancies in some areas meant that the overall rate of decline eased to the weakest in 21 months.
Starting pay increases at slower, but still strong rate
The latest survey indicated that pay pressures continued to soften at the end of the year, but remained strong in the context of historical data. Notably, rates of both starting salary and temp pay growth hit their lowest since April 2021. Where higher rates of pay were reported, this was frequently linked to competition for scarce staff as well as the rising cost of living.
Demand from employers continues to remain strong as 2023 begins
If unpredictability was a buzzword of 2022, then economic uncertainty is likely a watchword for 2023. Rising interest rates have left many businesses unsure of what the future holds, such as their ability to pay their debts. And there is anxiety because the UK is experiencing its first double-digit inflation in four decades, making it difficult for businesses to predict their costs. Yet against this backdrop, vacancy data suggests that demand from employers for workers remains very high as the UK’s candidate supply remains low.
Hopefully this will provide you with an excellent insight into a myriad of critical recruitment topics including hiring activity, candidate availability and salaries. As you strive to keep your current employees happy and attract the best new talent to help your company grow you may find some of the content very useful.
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