The Markit/REC Report on Jobs released by the UK’s Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) showed firms hired permanent staff in November at the fastest pace since February. Temporary/contract staff appointments also rose at a quicker pace, with the rate of growth reaching a seven-month high.
The latest survey, which provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies, pointed to further strong demand for staff, with employee vacancies rising at steeper rates for both permanent and temporary roles. The availability of staff, however, for filling job vacancies continued to fall during November with the fastest decline in permanent staff availability being recorded for eight months, while temporary staff availability also dropped at a quicker rate.
The rate of growth in permanent starting salaries edged up to a six-month high in November and short-term pay rates also continued to rise.
Commenting on the findings, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said: “The jobs market is ending the year on a high with appointments and vacancies at levels not seen since February. In all parts of the UK recruiters are reporting increasing demand, so clearly businesses continue to seek growth in their workforces.
“The main concern as we look forward to 2017 is an increasing skills shortage. The UK employment rate is at a record high and jobs are going unfilled in key areas.
“In the longer term, improving hiring and training of young people via apprenticeships will help to ensure that employers develop a pipeline of people with the required skills. But there is an immediate need which must be met now so that businesses can thrive.
“Talent shortages will be exacerbated if the government imposes restrictions on people coming to the UK from abroad. This might result in businesses considering options such as offshoring or relocation abroad; this is a risk we cannot afford.”
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