Temp billing growth accelerates

Tuesday 13 January 2015

The number of temporary job vacancies has risen at the fastest rate seen for three months, which is good news for umbrella company contractors and limited company contractors.

According to the Report on Jobs from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the rate of temporary vacancy growth was the strongest seen for three months in December. What's more, the number of short term staff appointments went up at a fast rate.

The area where temporary billings rose fastest was in the North of England, while the South saw a slower rate of expansion.

This growth was seen across all sectors monitored in the survey but the areas that saw the strongest rise in temporary billings were among nursing and medical care and blue collar workers.

Along with a rise in temporary billings came an increase in pay rates. It was found that temp pay was increasing at the sharpest rate seen for three months.

Contractors and freelancers may also find that they are in demand, particularly those who are highly skilled, as REC found that temporary staff availability decreased at a faster rate, more quickly than the rate noted in November.

Commenting on the results of the Report on Jobs, partner and head of business services at KPMG Bernard Brown said: "A strong year for the UK jobs market finished with a flourish as temporary roles saw an upswing in popularity. More than one in three recruiters suggest that employees looking for short-term roles are being increasingly spoilt for choice as organisations search for help in an effort to fulfil customer orders."

Mr Brown added that this upward movement in temporary roles has also showed up in pay. He explained that this is because the skills shortage that continues to be a problem in the UK has resulted in an increase in the starting salaries that are available.

He said: "It could mean that 2015 becomes the year in which the candidate finally becomes king.”

Chief executive of REC Kevin Green explained that the job market is starting out on a positive footing in 2015. He added that recruiters are helping more and more businesses find workers and echoed the point that the skills shortage has led to an increase in starting salaries.

Moving forward, Mr Green believes that economic growth looks to be sustainable in 2015 but that political uncertainty could cause trouble for the market, particularly with a general election coming up.

Among the issues that could affect business confidence and hiring are right-wing parties' consideration of an exit from the European Union and left-wing parties' plan to increase intervention in the labour market. There is also the concern of another hung Parliament, which means that two parties may have to negotiate around such views.

By Victoria McDonnell

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