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Report on UK Jobs – March

Apr 11, 2024

Glencourt Associates is one of the recruitment companies selected to provide data for the monthly KPMG & REC “Report on Jobs”.

The headline statistics from March’s report published on 8th April are provided below. These statistics are at odds with Glencourt’s own findings during a month in which we have been awarded a near record number of talent searches.

Recruitment activity continued to decline in March
Permanent staff appointments in the UK continued to fall in March, extending the current downturn to a year-and-a-half. An uncertain economic outlook and ongoing recruitment freezes in major corporations were reported by recruiters as reasons for the latest decline. Budget constraints also reportedly weighed on temp billings during March, which fell to the steepest degree since July 2020.

Labour supply continued to increase during March
March saw a rapid and accelerated increase in the availability of staff. Latest data marked the thirteenth successive month that growth has been registered, and the latest rise was the steepest recorded since last November. Higher volumes of redundancies and cost cutting at firms reportedly led to an increase in candidate availability. Permanent and temporary staff availability both increased sharply.

Permanent staff pay growth lowest in over three years
Starting pay levels for both permanent and temporary workers continued to increase during March. Higher pay generally reflected efforts to attract better candidates. However, amid an upturn in candidate supply, rates of pay growth continued to slide. Overall, permanent staff salaries rose at the weakest rate in over three years, whilst for temp wages the increase was the slowest in four months. In both instances, growth rates were also below their respective survey trends.

Further decline in staff demand signaled
Latest data showed that demand for all workers fell for a fifth successive month in March. Although the rate of contraction was softer than in February, it remained historically marked. Permanent staff demand continued to fall at a noticeably faster rate than for temp workers, which again fell only marginally.

Source: KPMG/REC “Report on Jobs” prepared by S&P Global

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