Review of the UK Jobs Market – March
Welcome to our Review of the UK Jobs Market for March 2023. Each month, we share market insight on the state of the UK jobs market.
You can either read our short blog, or see our infographic.
The main findings were:
- Temp billings growth hits six-month high
- Permanent staff appointments fall marginally
- Availability of staff rises for the first time since February 2021
Permanent staff appointments fall only slightly
The number of people placed into permanent roles across the UK declined for the sixth month in a row during March. That said, the pace of reduction was the weakest seen over this period and marginal. This was generally linked to hesitancy to commit to new hires and efforts to contain costs amid ongoing economic uncertainly.
Temp billings growth improves to six-month high
As has been the case each month since August 2020, billings from the employment of temp staff increased at the end of the first quarter. Furthermore, the rate of expansion was the best seen in six months. A preference for short-term staff, particularly in an uncertain economic climate, has helped to drive the latest upturn.
Overall vacancy growth improves
Permanent job opening continued to rise at a quicker rate than that seen for temp roles.
The rate of growth in permanent vacancies was little-changed from February’s four-month high and sharp. The upturn in demand for temp workers was modest, however and the softest seen in 26 months.
At 1,124,000, the number if open roles fell by 51,000 compared to the preceding three-month period. Vacancies have steadily fallen since reaching their peak of 1.3m nearly a year ago. However, the number of roles is nearly +37% higher than that seen before the pandemic.
Candidate availability rises for the first time in 25 months
March data pointed to a fresh increase in the availability of workers for permanent positions. Through rising mildly, it marked the first expansion since the start of 2021. A relative improvement in confidence among job seekers has helped lift candidate numbers. However, redundancies had also contributed to increased staff supply.
After falling continuously over the past two years, temp worker availability increased during March. The rate at which short-term candidate supply extended was modest overall, but nevertheless represented a marked turnaround from the considerable falls seen for much of 2021 and 2022.
Staqrting salaries continue to rise at historically sharp pace
March saw a sustained increase in starting salaries for permanent workers in March, thereby stretching the current sequence of rising pay to just over 2 years. This has been driven by efforts to attract scarce candidates, and the higher cost of living also imparted upward pressure on pay.
Temp wage growth remains markedMarch saw an increase in average wages for temp staff for the twenty-fifth straight month. Despite edging down to a three-month low, the rate of inflation was still sharp. Competition for staff and the higher cost of living both contributed to the sharp increases.
Source: KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs 12th April 2023
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