Free cookie consent management tool by TermsFeed Blog - Report on Jobs: Recruitment consultancies signalled a sustained rise in demand for staff in December | Redline Group Recruitment News and Blogs | Redline Group Ltd

Report on Jobs: Recruitment consultancies signalled a sustained rise in demand for staff in December

The Report on Jobs by the KPMG and REC is unique in providing the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies, such as the Redline Group, and employers to provide the first indication each month of labour market trends. Here are the main findings for December 2022.


  • Contract/temp vacancies expanded at a slightly quicker pace.
  • Overall rate of decline in candidate supply eased to the weakest in 21 months.
  • ONS - Employee earnings increased +6.1% on an annual basis in the three months to October.

Pay pressures continued to soften at the end of the year but still remained strong in the context of historical data. The number of open roles fell by 65,000 since the three months to August to 1,187,000. However, recruitment consultancies signalled a sustained rise in demand for staff in December. Candidate availability was dampened by economic uncertainty and a tight labour market. But reports of redundancies in some areas ensured that the overall rate of decline eased to the weakest in 21 months.

The total number of vacancies within the country fell further but still remained higher than pre-pandemic figures. Speaking about this, Claire Warnes, Partner, Skills, and Productivity at KPMG UK said: “Vacancy growth rates are trending down again this month from a historically high peak in July 2021, as employers continue to rein in permanent hiring and employees choose to stay put. Overall, the jobs market looks less than rosy at the start of 2023, so employers who hold their nerve and continue to invest in skills in particular are likely to benefit most when the economic upturn comes.”

Unemployment and Low Candidate Supply;

Officially, about 1.3 million people in the UK are unemployed. However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shared that there is a total of 10 million working-age people in the UK who aren't in a paid job. Nearly nine million of these people aren't called "unemployed" because they're not actively looking for work, or available to start a job. Instead, they are called economically inactive. The main reasons for their inability or unwillingness to work include illness, early retirement, caring responsibilities or disability. Most of the 2.7 Million “inactive” people under 25 are students. 

Economic uncertainty, low candidate supply, the cost-of-living crisis, and pressure on clients’ budgets were cited as the reasons behind the latest drop in permanent placements. Contract/temp billings, on the other hand, expanded further in December, though the rate of growth remained modest overall. Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC said: “Overall activity levels remain high, with vacancies and starting rates of pay still growing. There is also plenty of demand for contracts, which is less affected by employer’s long-term confidence. The overall picture is still of a robust labour market.”

Demand for permanent staff increased in seven of the ten broad employment categories during December. The Engineering and IT/Computing sectors for both permanent and contract staff were still experiencing skills shortages in  Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Software engineers, IT, Developers, and Cyber Security professionals.

If unpredictability was considered to be a buzzword for 2022, then economic uncertainty is likely a word to watch for 2023. Rising interest rates have left many businesses unsure of what the future holds. There is also anxiety as  the UK experiences its first double-digit inflation in four decades, making it difficult for businesses to predict their costs. However, against this backdrop, vacancy data suggests that demand from employers for workers remains very high as the UK’s candidate supply remains low. Neil Carberry said this about the situation: “As we move into 2023, the need to ensure our labour market can deliver economic growth and prosperity should be a critical concern to politicians. People telling recruiters that they are increasingly anxious about moving jobs is a concern in this regard – as a move is a great way to boost pay and build up skills. If people are less willing to move jobs, this could make shortages worse in the near term. That is why a stable economy, and support to address labour and skills shortages – from welfare to work support to immigration and skills reform, need to be major priorities for all the UK governments.”

In the near future, a tight UK labour market is going to continue to hold back economic growth and squeeze the already tight living standards further. We encourage businesses to work with recruiters on strategies to increase productivity, and the Government must address skills shortages and migration policy. 

Redline Group continue to be one of the UK’s most trusted Electronics and High Technology recruitment specialist for professional Contract, Permanent and Executive positions. With four decades of experience in knowledge-led recruitment, Redline is perfectly positioned to offer advice about future-proofing your permanent, contract and interim needs in the technology sector. For more information about this month's report, contact David Collins on or call him at 01582 878804.


Fill out the form below to let us know about a vacancy you would like us to advertise for you.

Click here


Register your details to access the latest vacancies, create job alerts and much more.