Demand for temps continued to increase in December, but overall hiring activity was dampened at the end of 2022 according to the latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs survey, compiled by S&P Global. Permanent placements fell for the third month in a row, and at the quickest rate since the start of 2021, while billings for temp staff rose only modestly.
Starting salaries and temp wages both climbed higher in response to the greater cost of living and low candidate supply, however it is lowest growth rate since April 2021. Where higher rates of pay were reported, this was frequently linked to competition for scarce staff as well as the rising cost of living. Growth of demand for workers also cooled, with overall vacancies rising at the slowest rate since February 2021.
Commenting on the latest survey results, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:
“A slowdown in permanent placements is not unusual in December, but this one comes as part of a wider softening trend in the permanent market. Recruiters tell us that this was enhanced by firms pushing hiring activity back into January in the face of high inflation and economic uncertainty.
There is also plenty of demand for temporary workers, which is less affected by employer’s long-term confidence. The overall picture is still of a robust labour market, although contraction in sectors such as construction is a particular concern given its significance to the health of the economy.
“People telling recruiters that they are increasingly anxious about moving jobs is a concern – if people are less willing to move jobs, this could make shortages worse in the near term.”
The Report on Jobs is compiled by S&P Global from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.