The Jobs Market & Trends.. KPMG / REC, UK report on Jobs. June 2024…

Perm appointments continue to fall, the report reports on the impact of slow decison-making, lack of vacancies and specific IT staff shortages. Salaries continue to increase.

The main findings in the UK Jobs market report, curently in May 2024 are:

May sees weaker decline in placements
Permanent staff appointments continued to fall in May, according to the latest survey of UK recruitment consultants. It was the twentieth successive month
in which placements have fallen, but the latest decline was modest and the slowest since March 2023. A similar trend was seen for temp billings, with the
latest contraction the weakest in four months. There were reports that slow decision-making, a lack of vacancies and specific candidate shortages weighed on

Further uplift in pay rates
Amid reports of a competitive market landscape, alongside evidence of a ripple impact on base pay rates following April’s increases in the national minimum
and living wages, typical starting pay for candidates rose again during May. For permanent workers, salaries were reported to have increased markedly and to
only a slightly lesser extent than April’s four-month high. Temp staff saw a similar trend, with pay rising at only a slightly slower pace than in the previous month.

Staff vacancies down only slightly
Although demand for staff continued to fall in May, extending the current downturn to seven months, it did so only marginally and to the lowest degree in
this sequence. Moreover, the latest fall was exclusively led by permanent workers as temp staff demand was unchanged in the latest survey period.

Staff availability rises to greatest degree since end of 2020
May’s survey revealed another steep increase in staff availability. The rate of growth was the steepest recorded by the survey since December 2020. The faster
expansion in the number of people looking for work was seen for permanent job roles. Panellists noted that a mixture of redundancies, higher unemployment and
reduced demand for staff led to the broad rise in candidate availability.

Permanent & temporary vacancies
Latest data showed that permanent staff vacancies continued to fall in May, extending the current downturn to nine months. However, the rate of contraction was marginal, and the weakest recorded by the survey since last October. Meanwhile, temp worker demand was unchanged in May following a three-month period of falling temp vacancies.

Candidate supply rises to strongest degree since end of 2020… The availability of staff increased sharply during May and for the fifteenth successive month. The rate of growth was also the steepest recorded by the survey since December 2020. This was signalled by the seasonally adjusted Total Staff Availability Index which rose to 62.2 in May, up from 60.4 in the previous month. Permanent staff availability rose in May to a steeper degree than for temporary workers.

Marked increase in starting salaries during May... May’s survey showed that permanent starting salaries increased again, marking a thirty-ninth successive monthly upturn. The degree to which salaries rose was again marked and little changed on April’s four-month high. Panellists commented that wages continued to rise in line with broader inflationary pressures and the high cost of living. Some panellists noted that salaries were being raised in response to April’s increase in the national minimum wage. In England, the steepest increase in permanent salaries was seen in the North and the slowest in the South.

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