Key points from July survey:

– Slowest upturn in permanent placements for ten months
– Steepest decline in permanent staff availability since December 2017
– Rates of increase in both permanent and contract pay in the North of England strongest on regional basis

Sophie Wingfield, Head of Policy at REC says:
“The rise in interest rates for only the second time in a decade may leave some people feeling the pinch. But a new job is one way people can ease the burden on their finances. With our data showing starting salaries continuing to rise, the latest official government figures suggest that we are finally seeing the effects of a tighter labour market feed through to pay.”

Staff Appointments

Permanent placement growth at ten-month low
Recruitment consultancies continued to indicate greater numbers of staff placed into permanent positions in the North of England during July. Where growth was signalled, there were mentions of improved demand for workers and increased client activity. However, the upturn in permanent placements was moderate by historical standards and eased to a ten-month low, curbed by market uncertainty and candidate shortages.

Steep rise in contract billings
Billings received from short-term employment in the North of England increased further at the start of the third quarter. The pace of growth was steep and the second-highest since November 2017, behind that seen in June. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the upturn was supported by new client wins as well as stronger demand for staff from existing customers.

Staff Availability

Steepest decline in permanent candidate numbers in 2018 so far
As has been the case for five-and-a-half years, permanent candidate numbers in the North of England decreased during July. Moreover, the pace of contraction was steep and quickened to the fastest in the year-to-date. Panellists reported scarcity of a wide range of skills, including accountants, constructors, developers, drivers, engineers and nurses.

Decline in contract supply softens
The availability of jobseekers willing to undertake short-contract employment in the North of England continued to deteriorate in July. Survey participants reported shortages of accountants, engineers, IT, receptionists, scientists, support workers and a number of blue collar candidates. The pace of reduction moderated from June’s recent record, but remained sharp in the context of historical survey data.

Pay Pressures

Permanent Salaries Starters’ salary inflation in the North of England eased for the second month in a row during July, after reaching a 45-month peak in May. Nonetheless, the seasonally adjusted Permanent Salaries Index remained well above its long-run average. Recruitment consultancies that signalled higher pay cited efforts to attract applicants amid a candidate-driven market.

Contract pay rates
Contract pay increased to the greatest extent in 27 months during July. Exactly one-quarter of companies reported higher hourly pay rates in July, which they commonly linked to efforts to boost applicant numbers. Concurrently, fewer than 2% of recruitment consultancies indicated lower contract wages compared to June.

Regional Comparisons

Staff appointments
Permanent staff placements increased in three of the four monitored English regions in July, the sole exception being London where a marginal decline was noted. The Midlands was the brightest spot, posting the strongest rate of expansion in permanent appointments. Contract billings continued to rise on a broad-based fashion, with the North of England remaining the best-performing region on this front. However, the only area to see a pick-up in growth was the South of England.

Candidate availability
Rates of reduction in permanent candidate supply eased in all English regions, bar the North of England. The steepest drop was evident in the South of England and the weakest, though still sharp, in the Midlands. Contract supply deteriorated in each of the four tracked regions in July, as has been the case for nearly five years. Rates of contraction softened in the South and North of England, but quickened in London and the Midlands. At the UK level, the fall was the slowest in three months, though sharp.

Pay Pressures
Survey participants across England reported higher salaries awarded to newly-placed permanent workers in July. Rates of salary inflation eased in all four localities, with the North of England again registering the strongest upturn. At the UK level, the latest rise was the weakest since March. The North of England also led the upturn in contract pay at the start of the third quarter. In London and the Midlands rates of wage inflation were at two-month highs, while a moderation was registered in the South of England (four-month low). Across the UK as a whole, the latest increase in contract pay was the quickest since April.

About Langley James

Langley James was founded in 1999 by James Toovey, a highly respected recruitment industry professional.  James wanted to provide something unique: a bespoke recruitment service which was founded on service excellence.  With offices in London and Chester, we are now providing our recruitment services throughout the world and over the last 18 years have worked with some of the most respected companies.

The average time from taking a role…
– and Delivering a Qualified Shortlist of Candidates          3 days
– and First Confirmed Interview                                             5 days
– and Confirmed Placement                                                     8 days

To find out why so many companies turn to Langley James for support in fulfilling their IT recruitment needs, call and speak to one of our specialist consultants today on 0207 788 6600.

In conjunction with: Markit and sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.