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Report Shows Staff Appointments Increasing & Positive Outlook for 2021

15/01/21 Natalie Tyler Associate Director

The latesest KPMG and REC ‘Report on Jobs’ indicates the overall UK jobs market still has some levels of uncertainty but is starting to show a positive sign with permanent recruitment increasing for the first time since September 2020 and a continued increase in contract/temporary billings which experience some of the best results since 2018. 

The British economy is exhibiting positive underlying trends, data from the ONS estimates gross domestic product (GDP) to have increased by a record 16.0% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020, revised from the first estimate of 15.5% growth.

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

  • Vaccine confidence signals a rise in permanent vacancies for the first time since September.
  • Contract placements continue to rise at the sharpest pace since October 2018, companies benefit from a flexible workforce.
  • Starting salaries and contract rates increase slowly as candidate availability decreases.
  • Engineering & Technology Sector still showing strong resilience with consecutive monthly growth 
  • IT & Computing saw the steepest rates of expansion

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC said, “The underlying strength of the British economy shone through in December jobs figures. The biggest expansion in contract and temporary recruitment since October 2018 shows how important the flexible jobs market is to that performance. Growing permanent placements and starting pay also emphasised the resilience of our economy.”

James Stewart Vice Chair at KPMG adds “The emergence of a vaccine did bring more confidence to the jobs market in December with a small increase in permanent appointments”.

The end of 2020 saw rates of global manufacturing production and new orders remain among the strongest seen over the past decade, as the sector continued to recover from the COVID-19 related downturn earlier in the year. The JPMorgan Global PMI survey indicated strong order intake, with worldwide supply chains staying severely stretched, leading to marked delays and disruption in raw materials deliveries, production schedules, and distribution timescales.

These material shortages are already impacting major auto manufacturers as they fight for the shipments of semiconductors, as integrated circuit manufacturers reserve supply for volume technology customers in the consumer electronics space such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Companies such as Toyota, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Volkswagen have all be signalling a slow-down in auto vehicle manufacture due to the limited number of electronic parts available from suppliers such as Continental, Valeo, and Bosch, etc who have been struggling to secure semiconductor supplies. 

Semiconductor manufacturers have prioritised the consumer-electronics sector as the orders are considerably larger than those of automotive oem’s - the annual smartphone market alone is more than 1 billion devices, compared with fewer than 100 million cars. Auto manufacture is also a lower-margin business, leaving manufacturers unwilling to pay higher semiconductor prices.

And while the newest cars, especially electric vehicles require more semiconductors, the latest smartphones still use considerably more. The newer 5G connectivity handsets require 40 percent more semiconductors than the older 4G versions. TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) reported record fourth-quarter revenue, with new 5G products taking up a large chunk of capacity.

Commenting on the report and the market outlook Natalie Tyler, Head of Engineering & Sales at Redline Group said:

“The pandemic has presented a huge challenge for people and businesses, and while the UK and European lockdowns are having an impact on confidence, many businesses used this as an opportunity to adapt and accelerate digitalization by three to four years.

With a new UK-Europe relationship and vaccine rollout happening at pace, increases in remuneration as cited by the ONS, 2021 looks far more positive especially as significant skills shortages exist in the UK engineering sector, positions in electronics design jobs , C# developers, Cybersecurity, RF, and semiconductor skills have all been cited as some of the most challenging. 

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