New data points to further job growth in the UK
The UK job market is going from strength to strength, according to data from a number of recent surveys.
Employment is continuing to rise across the UK, as a fresh batch of surveys have pointed towards even better times to come for Britain’s labour market.
Building on previous positive readings, the latest London Employment Monitor from recruiter Morgan McKinley shows that job opportunities across the City rose by seven per cent in September from the same period last year. Encouragingly, the figures show that pay is on the rise as well – the average salary increase when changing jobs was around 19 per cent, up from 17 per cent in the previous month.
Hiring usually bounces back in September after a slowdown over the summer months, when the peak holiday season often puts a dampener on advertising and recruitment processes. That explains why the number of professionals actively looking for new roles increased by a fifth from August.
But the fact that more vacancies are becoming available each autumn indicates that confidence in the job market is on the rise, encouraging employees to test the waters and explore new opportunities. Compared to September 2013, the number of professionals actively job-hunting in the City rose by a quarter last month.
Flexible staff see higher pay
The rest of the UK is also seeing the benefits of a recovering job market, according to the Report on Jobs from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
Permanent placements through recruitment agencies continued to rise in September, the research found, although the rate of growth did ease to a ten-month low. On the other hand, contract and temporary workers saw the 17th month in a row when billings increased, indicating that many companies are seeking the flexibility that they can offer.
Since candidate availability also fell, it might be that businesses are trying to fill skills gaps in the short-term until they can find the right candidate. Firms were clearly committed to hiring the right talent over the period – salaries awarded to new permanent staff grew at a strong rate again, while the hourly pay rate for temporary and contract workers shot up at the quickest rate in nearly seven years.
Not only is the UK economy likely to benefit from better salaries and a more dynamic labour market, but the recruitment sector in itself is enjoying a period of growth as more people start to look for work. Nearly seven out of ten recruitment companies surveyed for the latest UK Recruitment Index from Deloitte and the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) said their net fee income had risen in the previous 12 months. On average, it had grown by as much as 29 per cent over that period.
“Last year there was a view that growth was coming – and that it was very much on the agenda – but that recruitment firms were unsure whether it was going to last,” said Ann Swain, APSCo chief executive.
“This year’s report shows clearly that the growth has not only been achieved – but that it has been sustained – and there is consequently much more confidence in the market.”