The latest KPMG & REC recruitment survey, which has been running month in and month out for over a decade, shows further gloom:
Permanent placements drop for the seventh month in a row
Weakest increase in vacancies since 2012
Availability of staff continues to drop
It should be noted that while any increase in vacancies sounds positive news the only time the survey has shown a decline was in 2008/2009.
James Stewart of KPMG commented that
“The Brexit impasse continues to affect the jobs market with employers stuck, unable to make informed decisions, and people unwilling to risk seeking new roles”.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation echoes this:
“Businesses are positive about their own prospects, but ongoing Brexit uncertainty has led many firms to delay projects and hiring decisions”.
For many it will seem odd that while the UK is teetering on the edge of a recession that the availability of staff has declined. The answer is that employees are increasingly risk averse and recognise the security of their current employment compared with making a jump to a new employer.
This is the reason why the report also highlights an increase in permanent starting salaries for job movers.
At a sector and profession level Retail and Construction fare poorly while IT/Computing and Hotel/Catering remain relatively buoyant although significantly weaker than September 2018. Executive and Professional is flat.
An analysis on a regional basis shows a stark regional difference with London significantly poorer on measures of staff appointments and declining vacancies. The North remains relatively buoyant. The report doesn’t offer much analysis but anecdotally the pressures in Financial Services might be a key contributor to London’s woes.