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Engineering is one of the strongest performing job sectors in the UK after confidence improved

11/08/20 Adam Walker Director

The latest KPMG and 'REC Report' on Jobs indicates that that decline in recruitment activity has eased considerably during July. Permanent staff appointments and contractor/temporary billings both fell at the softest rates for over five months as more of the global economy reopened.

The report highlights some of the factors being be discussed by the world’s economists as they predict the COVID-19 recovery in a V, L or K Shape.


 The key findings from August’s KPMG & REC REPORT indicate:

  •        Hiring activity falls at a much slower pace, permanent recruitment activity moved much closer to stabilisation in July.
  •       Vacancies contract at a softer rate, with rates notably slower the last three months.
  •         Redundancies lead to a sharper rise in staff supply for certain sectors

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC said, While permanent placements and temp billings still decreased last month across most areas of the country, the pace of decline has slowed hugely as the tide turned on lockdown. With the economy opening up through June and July, we would expect an improving trend in the coming months as firms recover from the worst of the crisis.” 

James Stewart Vice Chair at KPMG adds “With the softest rates of decline seen for five months, it’s encouraging to see the downturn in recruitment easing as parts of the economy reopen.”

Other positive indicators came from the JPMorgan Global PMI survey which signalled strengthened global growth in July, led by rebounding activity from COVID-19 lockdowns notably in Europe and Russia as well as sustained robust expansion in China. The PMI rose for a third successive month in July, up from 47.8 in June to 50.8. The latest reading breached the no-change 50.0 level for the first time in six months to indicate expanding output across the combined manufacturing and service sectors.

Output rose in 18 of the 26 manufacturing and service sub-sectors during July, led by automotive and parts manufacturing. The strong performance of automotive was notable, reflecting the restarting of production after closures and rising sales as customers returned to forecourts, especially in Europe.

Commenting on the report and the market outlook Adam Walker, Director at Redline Group said:

“COVID-19 has resulted in substantive change for companies across the UK and Europe, including those in engineering and high-tech, some of which have transformed their business to directly mitigate the harm caused by the pandemic.

Some of the largest technology companies’ revenues have held steady — if not thriving. Many companies have moved their data centres to rent computing from Microsoft, Google and Amazon as workers were forced to work from home.

Many of Apple's factories are nearly back to normal and in recently published financial results it showed more people were spending time and money on its digital services.

This trend was highlighted by the KPMG & REC which demonstrated the weakest drop in demand was in the Engineering sector.

The challenges which the pandemic presents are different in many sectors - airlines and travel companies are struggling to offset the massive damage being done to their bottom line. In other sectors such as engineering and technology the 'War for Talent' will continue as the world digitises and the community continues to dominate the new vacancy market. The Report highlighted skills shortages and demand for Senior Electronics Engineers, Mechanical Engineers and a broad variety of IT professionals including Data Scientists. ”

For further information on our knowledge-led approach to recruitment and how we can help your business, please contact Redline Group on 01582 450054 or email