The KPMG/REC Report on Jobs provides a simple but reliable monthly snapshot of job market trends across all sectors across the UK. While based on monthly returns from recruitment companies (and I suspect many firms take all of 1 minute to complete the survey), it has the great merits of a large population sample, consistency and currency, even if it is a bit finger in the air.
The main findings for July are that there was strengthened demand from employers, focussed on the private sector but also with a solid increase from the public sector. What is important is that this buoyancy has been sustained for nearly 12 months now after a period of gloom from 2011 to 2013. The availability of staff declined at the sharpest rate in the survey history and this in turn fuelled a further reported increase in salaries.
Looking further into the stats and figures reveals that while the picture is firmly positive there are interesting variations with engineering and construction permanent appointments showing the greatest demand with Hotel and Catering and “Blue Collar” the weakest. “Executive and Professional” was in the bottom half of the survey having fared less well, relatively, over the past 12 months, particularly in the “temporary/contract” market.
The bullish reports of a surge in starting salaries was contrasted, in the survey, with data from the ONS which suggested slowing earnings rises but alas there was no suggestion in the report as to why there might be this difference.