Report on Jobs February Round Up

The Report on Jobs is unique in providing the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies and employers to provide the first indication each month of labour market trends.

The main findings for February are:

Softer, but still rapid increase in hiring activity

UK recruitment consultancies recorded a further robust increase in hiring activity during February amid reports of rising workloads at clients and greater confidence in the outlook. That said, permanent placement growth eased to an 11-month low and temp billings also expanded at a softer pace, with recruiters frequently stating that candidate shortages had limited their ability to fill roles.

Candidate supply falls at quickest rate for three months

The total availability of candidates fell at the sharpest rate since last November in February, driven by steeper falls in both permanent and temp staff supply. Lower candidate numbers were generally attributed to ongoing tight labour market conditions and robust demand for staff. There were also reports that the pool of candidates was limited due to lingering pandemic-related uncertainty and fewer foreign applicants.

Vacancy growth accelerates for first time since last July

Overall vacancies expanded at the quickest rate for three months in February. This marked the first acceleration of growth since last July, and was driven by sharper rises in demand for both permanent and temporary staff.

Pay pressures sharpen in February

Recruiters continued to see intense competition for workers in February, leading to further steep increases in rates of starting pay for both permanent and short-term staff. Notably, permanent starters’ salaries rose at the second-sharpest pace since data collection began in October 1997.

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