REC: Permanent staff placements increase in August

Friday 30 September 2016

Permanent staff placements increased in August for the first time in three months, a new study has found. 

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that this rise came after two months of declining staff placements following the effects of Britain voting to leave the EU.

Evidence suggests that some companies were keeping particular hires on hold following the referendum, with some of these decisions being processed in August. 

As well as this, temporary billings rose at their strongest rate since May, with strong client activity levels being behind the increase following the figures easing to a ten-month low in July. 

In addition, permanent salary growth accelerated, with the rate going up from July due to skill shortages and more senior-level placements. On top of this, the supply of candidates to fill vacancies continued to be an issue. 

There was significant variation between different regions, with the growth of short-term staff billings rising the most in the North. 

Private sector temporary work was the only category where a decline was noted, with nursing/medical/care remaining the most sought-after category for permanent staff, jumping ahead of engineering in second. The only field where a drop was noted was construction. 

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: “The UK jobs market returned to pre-referendum patterns in August as the initial shock of the vote result subsided. 

“Permanent hiring returned to growth as employers confirmed appointments that had been on hold or delayed in June and July.” 

Despite the positive results, Mr Green went on to say that it is too early to draw conclusions from effects of the EU referendum, as the situation could change dramatically in the coming weeks and months. 

He stressed that an increase in business confidence is crucial in the coming months, warning about the importance of ensuring trade agreements with EU countries. 

Mr Green emphasised that employers in a host of different sectors could be adversely affected if the access to workers outside of the UK is restricted. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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