Fewer jobseekers as workers opt to stay put, finds Report on Jobs

High employment rates combined with a willingness among workers to stay put has resulted in fewer people looking for jobs.

This is one of the main conclusions of the latest KPMG and Recruitment & Employment Confederation ‘UK Report on Jobs’. The report is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.

The latest report finds:

  • The overall availability of staff continued to decline sharply in November. This was despite the rate of reduction easing to the weakest since March, helped by a smaller decline in the supply of both permanent and temporary candidates.
  • Permanent placements and temporary billings both increased at softer rates in November, with the latest upturn in permanent staff appointments the second-weakest since October 2017, while temp billings expanded at the joint-weakest rate for just over two years.
  • The overall rate of vacancy growth fell to its least marked rate for just over two years in November, driven by a slightly slower increase in permanent job openings, as temp vacancies rose at a fractionally faster pace.
  • Steep increases in permanent staff appointments were witnessed across three of the four monitored English regions, as the North of England registered only a modest rate of expansion.
  • The increase in temp billings was broad-based across all four monitored English regions, with the Midlands witnessing by far the quickest rate of growth, with relatively modest expansions registered elsewhere.
  • IT & computing led a broad-based expansion of demand for permanent workers over November, closely followed by engineering, while marked increases in vacancies were witnessed in the remaining eight monitored categories.
  • All 10 monitored temporary/contract staff categories saw increased demand during November. Blue collar registered the steepest rise in vacancies, with least marked growth witnessed by executive/professional.

REC CEO Neil Carberry said: “High employment rates and a lack of willingness to change employer in this uncertain climate means fewer people are looking for jobs – despite rising pay and jobs being available.

“Recruiters across the country are working hard to fill gaps in our labour market but in the run-up to Christmas, sectors like hospitality and warehousing are facing particular challenges as they ramp up to the festive season. More clarity on the future path of Brexit and immigration will underpin business and consumer confidence, ensuring the UK’s jobs performance remains strong.”

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