Key points from September survey:
– Staff appointments continued to increase, albeit at slower rate
– Vacancies and permanent salaries rise again
– Skill shortages persist, although staff supply falls at weaker pace

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive at the REC says:
“UK businesses are resilient, but they’re struggling to find the people they need to drive growth and opportunity. Recruiters’ specialist skills help to address this, but with Brexit looming a comprehensive mobility deal with the EU will be needed to underpin prosperity. Higher skills investment, driven by a reformed apprenticeship levy, will also be essential.
An effective approach to post-Brexit immigration must acknowledge that there is unmet need for roles of all sorts – not just those filled by the very highest earners. Keeping deliveries going, patients being treated and goods on the shelves means an open approach to workers from elsewhere. Businesses understand the need for control – but this is not in conflict with openness to those who come to contribute.”

Staff Appointments

Permanent staff appointments rise at slower rate
Amid reports of increased client activity and demand for staff, a further rise in permanent staff placements was registered during September. Growth has now been recorded continuously for nearly five-and-a-half years, although the rate of expansion was down since August’s six-month peak and below the equivalent reading for the UK.
Contract billings growth weakens to a five-month low
Recruitment agencies in the North of England continued to report growth in contract billings during September. However, the rate of increase was down for a third successive month and the lowest recorded since April. Whilst there were reports of generally firmer demand, a lack of activity in the automotive sector weighed on growth.

Staff Availability

Candidate availability for permanent positions continued to deteriorate
September’s survey indicated another decline in candidate availability in the North of England, the sixty-eighth successive monthly fall. However, the degree to which availability deteriorated was noticeably slower and the weakest since April 2017.
Contract supply falls at slower rate
The availability of candidates for contract vacancies in the North of England continued to worsen during September. The latest reduction, whilst marked, was nonetheless the weakest recorded since the start of the year and contrasted to a quicker fall seen at the UK level.

Pay Pressures

Permanent Salaries
Latest data showed that permanent salaries continued to increase for newly-placed permanent staff during September. The rate of salary inflation was again marked, but maintained its recent downward trend, hitting its lowest level since February. Moreover, the degree to which salaries in the North of England increased remained well below the UK average.
Contract pay rates
Pay rates for newly appointed contract workers increased again during September, stretching the current run of inflation to over six years. However, the degree to which pay increased was notably weaker, easing to its lowest since March and to a level well below the average for the UK as a whole.

Regional Comparisons

Staff appointments
Permanent staff appointments continued to increase during September. Although growth was marked, it was a little lower than in August. Whilst London saw the strongest rise in perm placements since May 2017, rates of expansion were lower elsewhere. The weakest growth was seen in the Midlands, followed by the South of England. Contract billings growth was a little firmer at the UK level in September, with only the North of England registering a slowdown compared to August. The Midlands recorded the strongest net rise in contract billings.
Candidate availability
Permanent staff availability continued to deteriorate across the UK during September. Supply declined to the greatest degree in the South of England, followed by the Midlands and London. In contrast, the North of England recorded a notably slower reduction. For contract workers, availability at the UK level deteriorated to the greatest degree since November 2017. The South of England recorded a particularly sharp reduction, with the
slowest seen in the North of England.
Pay Pressures
Looking at newly appointed permanent staff salaries, the South of England again led the way in terms of inflation. The Midlands was close behind, followed by London. The North of England, in contrast, recorded its slowest increase since February. All four regions recorded an increase in contract pay rates in September, led by London and the South of England. The net rise in the North of England was relatively subdued in contrast.

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.