Job opportunities in the capital remain higher than in the rest of the UK, reaching growth rates that have not been bettered in over a decade, according to the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation / KMPG Report on Jobs: London.
The number of both permanent and temporary jobs passed to employment agencies rose significantly in January 2014. Temp billings increased at the fastest rate recorded since 1998, exceeding the average across the rest of the UK. Permanent placements eased during the first month of the year, yet remain strong – an indication of continued economic recovery.
Demand for applicants has also peaked, hitting levels unseen for 13 years (permanent) and six and a half years (temporary). Again, this growth was higher in London than in the UK as a whole.
This situation, plus the reduction in the availability of candidates experienced by most agencies, may have contributed to the happy increase in temporary pay rates. Sixteen per cent of the agencies polled said that temp rates had risen and the remaining 84 per cent said rates were the same – none reported a decline.
The report did highlight that certain skills were in short supply in the capital; those with experience in the tax and audit sector are highly sought-after, as are PAs, receptionists and secretaries.
Commenting on the report, KPMG’s Bernard Brown appeared to be telling recruiter.co.uk that businesses shouldn’t get complacent just because the vacancies were out there: “Employer confidence continues to grow, with the thirst for new staff hitting a 15-and-a-half year high in January.
“The warning has been noted by employees because, although jobs are being created, January saw another decline in the number of people putting themselves on the jobs market. The preference seems to be for temporary roles, suggesting that employees are adopting a ‘try before you buy’ mentality before committing to long-term roles.”