This month’s findings reveal the number of people placed into permanent job roles continued to rise markedly in April, but the pace of expansion was the softest seen in 2018 so far. However, in contrast, growth of temp billings picked up from March’s 13-month low.
Most monitored job categories registered higher perm staff vacancies during April, with steepest rates of growth registered across engineering and IT & computing. Retail was the only category monitored to record lower demand for perm workers.
Blue collar and engineering were the most in-demand categories for temp workers during April. While all of the remaining job sectors noted higher temp staff vacancies, with the slowest growth seen in construction.
Agencies also indicated private sector demand for staff continued to rise in April, with growth of both permanent and temporary vacancies picking up since March. Demand was also higher in the public sector, with steeper increases in vacancies seen for both perm and temp staff, though rates of growth continued to lag behind those seen for private sector staff.
Candidate availability for both perm and temp roles declined further at the start of the second quarter, with the rates of reduction reaching three- and five-month records, respectively.
Growth of overall job vacancies rose to a three-month high in April. Perm staff demand grew at a sharper pace compared to the previous month, while short-term staff vacancies expanded at a slightly softer (but still marked) pace.
The Midlands saw the strongest rise in permanent staff appointments in April, with the weakest seen in London. Scotland continued to record the steepest increase in temp billings when comparing all five monitored UK regions, while the North of England posted the slowest.
REC director of policy Tom Hadley said: “Following the recent headlines about high-street closures, it’s unsurprising to see demand for retail staff falling this month. With consumers increasingly shopping online, it’s a good time for retail workers to think about how their skills translate into other areas within the business – for example, recruiters say there’s huge demand for staff in IT, and there is also a shortage of order pickers and packers. Helping people make career transitions will become increasingly important in this fast changing business and employment landscape.
“Demand for staff is still on the rise in every other sector, but candidate availability keeps dropping. Our data shows that employers are paying more to attract the right people into their vacancies. For individuals, now is a good time to look for a new job, as [they] are in a strong position to negotiate higher pay.”