Beth Ashmead-Latham 8 Aug 2018 04:48pm

Staff vacancies are at record levels

Demand for staff in the UK rose in July this year, while job vacancies have expanded at their fastest rate in eight months

Meanwhile, the supply of permanent and temporary candidates continued to drop, although this decline has eased compared to recent months, according to a IHS Markit jobs report, sponsored by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

The report examined ONS data, showing that the total number of vacancies reached a record high (824,000) after “job vacancies rose by 5.0% year-on-year in the three months to June”.

It also revealed that the rise of permanent placements slowed in July to the lowest recorded growth rate since October 2017.

Demand for permanent staff increased the most for IT and computing jobs. The accounting and financial sector had the fourth highest rate of increased demand for permanent staff, out of the 10 sectors measured.

The report explained that “low candidate availability led to a further steep increase in salaries awarded to permanent starters” with survey responses linking the low supply of candidates to the increase in starter pay as businesses attempt to secure appointments.

Sophie Wingfield, head of policy at REC, said “we are finally seeing the effects of a tighter labour market feeding through to pay”.

She encouraged potential candidates to consider career moves in this environment as “a new job is the one way people can ease the burden on their finances”. Wingfield added that the current rising demand for temporary staff meant “students on their summer break can make the most of these opportunities”.

Last week think-tank The Resolution Foundation said that someone moving jobs will typically receive a pay rise 2.5 times bigger than someone remaining in the same job, noting that the number of job movers remains lower than pre-crisis levels.

Looking to the future, while the threat of a no-deal Brexit and potential trade wars are listed in the report as factors that may reduce confidence about hiring, UK private sectors businesses have remained positive about hiring.