Staff appointments rise again in May Survey

The authoritative monthly “Report on Jobs” has for nearly 20 years been surveying agencies to reveal recruitment trends, data and confidence across the UK and across employment sectors.

Its latest survey suggests a continuing buoyant picture.


  • Growth in both permanent placements and temp billings accelerates
  • Demand for staff reaches 21-month peak
  • Sharpest drop in permanent candidate numbers since August 2015
  • Fasted declines in perm and temp staff availability in South of England
  • Increase in perm and temp pay rates
  • Engineering, Medical and IT staff in top demand on perm side. Blue Collar, Executive and Construction at rear albeit still showing increase in demand
  • Medical, Hotel/catering and Engineering lead on temp side with Construction, Accounting and Executive trailing at the rear but still increasing in demand
  • ONS stats show earnings rising fastest in Wales, East of England and West Midlands and slowest in Yorks and Humber and South east with 8% fall in Scotland
  • UK unemployment rate lowest since 1975

In London:

  • ƒƒPermanent placements and temporary billings both increase at quicker rates
  • ƒƒSharp increases in starting salaries and temp pay rates
  • ƒCandidate availability falls againbut rate of decline slowing

Commenting on the latest survey results, Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy says:

“The challenges facing the next government are stark. Demand for staff is the strongest in almost two years, but the number of people available to take those jobs has plummeted. Official data shows unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 1975, and EU citizens are leaving the UK in droves. Employers seeking to fill vacancies are running out of options.

“Skill shortages are causing headaches in many sectors. The NHS for example is becoming increasingly reliant on short-term cover to fill gaps in hospital rotas because there aren’t enough nurses to take permanent roles. Meanwhile, the shortage of people with cyber security skills is a particular concern in many businesses in the wake of the recent high-profile WannaCry attacks.

“Whichever party forms the next government must focus on improving the employability of our young people and boosting inclusion for underrepresented groups. Alongside this, these figures clearly show that in many sectors we need more, not fewer people so that businesses can grow and public services continue to deliver.”

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