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Hiring still happening, with IT, Computing & Engineering leading the way

10/11/20 Daniel Saddi Associate Director

The latest KPMG and REC ‘Report on Jobs’ indicates that the overall jobs market remains uncertain with falls in permanent recruitment and a sharp increase in contract/temporary billings. 

Data from the ONS also showed unemployment rising to an estimated 4.8% but vacancies continue to recover in August to October. These are still lower than a year ago but this is mainly due to the differential impact of the pandemic and coronavirus restrictions in various sectors of the economy.

The key findings from October’s KPMG & REC Report indicate:

  • Companies are better prepared to hire during the lockdown.
  • Overall demand for staff weakens, yet contract vacancies increase for the third month in a row and private sector permanent vacancies increased slightly.
  • Uncertainty due to COVID and Brexit will provide a challenging end to the year, making contract appointments vital.
  • IT & Computing saw the strongest demand for new staff, followed by Engineering & Technical.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC said, “October bought a dose of realism after a quick economic bounce in the summer. While a new England-wide lockdown starts this week, similar restrictions were already in force in much of the UK last month. These figures show that hiring was still going on – and we believe that firms are better prepared to trade through these new restrictions than they were in March. Nevertheless, the outlook remains uncertain, and concerning.”

James Stewart Vice Chair at KPMG adds “The Government needs to ensure it offers enough financial support to UK business and opportunities for jobseekers to upskills as we continue to navigate through this crisis.”

More positive indicators came from the JPMorgan Global PMI survey which indicated international  manufacturing output rose at the fastest pace in over two-and-a-half years in October, building on the return to the growth seen during the third quarter of the year. New order intakes strengthened, assisted by a further upturn in international trade, while business optimism rose to its highest level since May 2018. Growth improved in the euro area, led by the steepest expansion in Germany for almost a decade. Output rose at quicker rates in China, India, and South Korea.

Commenting on the report and the market outlook Dan Saddi, Associate Director – Sales at Redline Group said:

“COVID-19 is still affecting company performance across the UK and Europe, including some in engineering and high-tech, but overall, the market remains robust.

The recent announcement from AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) to acquire chipmaker Xilinx in a $35Bn stock transaction, Marvell Technology deal to acquire Inphi Corp. for about $10 billion, 40% in cash, are adding to an already record year for semiconductor industry deals.

These are the latest in several massive deals in recent months, including Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm for $40bn, Analog Devices’ purchase of Maxim Integrated Products for c$20bn, and SK Hynix’s takeover of Intel’s memory business for $9bn.

Merger and acquisition deal-making is being driven by large semiconductor manufacturers’ endeavours to dominate the rapidly-expanding 5G, data centre, and end to end infrastructure markets.

Marvell’s acquisitions of Inph is driven by its position in cloud / data centres developing semiconductors that speed the flow of data between computers and networks, thus making data centres more efficient.

The optimism is even more visible in US Big Tech where the big five companies have seen continued growth in revenues and stock value. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook have all been well positioned to support the growth in commerce, communication, collaboration and education via their digital platforms.

The trend in global high-tech employment growth was highlighted by the REC Report where  companies are encountering continued skill shortages, including Senior Electronics Engineer jobs, Radio-Frequency Engineers who design wireless equipment and a broad a variety of IT professionals including Data Scientist, C# developers, AWS and Azure cloud professionals.”

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