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Report on Jobs: July 2017 - Permanent placement growth reaches 27-month record

10/08/17 Adam Walker Director

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the number of staff appointments made by recruitment consultancies grew at its fastest rate for more than two years. The continued strength of demand in the jobs market has surprised some commentators.

The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs, published in August – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market.  

Unsurprisingly, the availability of both permanent and temporary workers continued to fall sharply during July 2017. The rate of reduction eased for permanent staff, but the availability of temporary candidates declined at the quickest pace for more than 18 months.

Key points:

Permanent placement growth reaches 27-month record
Contractor & Temporary billings increase at the fastest rate for nearly 2.5 years
Marked decline in staff availability contributes to further increases in pay
Increase in permanent demand led by professional Engineering / technology jobs

Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates rose further in July, with the rate of pay inflation reaching a 20-month record. At the same time, hourly pay rates for short-term staff continued to increase sharply.

The demand for staff across the private sector continued to outpace that recorded for the public sector in July. The number of vacancies at private sector companies increased sharply overall, with growth picking up slightly since June.

July’s survey data signalled sharp increases in demand for permanent employees across key professional disciplines with Engineering & Technical jobs ranking first, followed by Accounting and Finance jobs and then IT & Computing being three most critical areas. Key permanent skills reported in short supply included:

  • Accountancy and Finance: Audit, Accounts, Cost Management, Finance, Payroll, Risk and Treasury
  • Engineering: Automotive, Electronics Engineers, Engineers, Maintenance Engineers and Engineering Technicians
  • IT & Computing: SC/DV Cleared staff, Cyber Security, JAVA

REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said: “The jobs market continues to confound expectations with both permanent and temporary placements growing at the fastest rate for over two years. Starting salaries are also still rising, so for workers who want to boost their earnings now is a good time to consider moving job.”

 “It's clear that employers are having to work even harder to fill jobs as vacancies rise and candidate availability shrinks. UK employment remains at an all-time high and looks set to keep improving. The parts of the economy most reliant on European workers are under even more pressure as many EU workers return home. Employers are not just struggling to hire the brightest and the best but also people to fill roles such as chefs, drivers and warehouse workers.”

“We can’t ignore the importance of our relationship with the EU to employers. If we want to keep our jobs market successful and vibrant, we must make it easier, not harder, for employers to access the people they need.”    

Adam Walker, Redline Director comments: “This REC Report and the feedback we receive daily from clients continues to highlight the challenges in the professional recruitment arena especially in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine) and Accountancy & Finance.

Recent studies by the UK Commission for Employment & Skills found that at least 43% of STEM vacancies are difficult to fill, which was having a dramatic effect on key technological advancements and the UK economy. The STEM shortfall is estimated to be around 40,000 employees each year, with reports that the shortage has worsened for the 9th year in a row. All of these figures point to the difficulties clients and recruiters face on a daily basis.

At Redline we have grown >55% in the last two years as more high-technology clients seek key differentiators from their recruitment partners. A truly knowledge-led approach to technical recruitment based on 35 years’ experience in the sector can really bring a difference to today’s recruitment challenges.”

If you would like to let us know about a vacancy you would like us to advertise for you, please contact Adam Walker on 01582 450054 or email