Growth in permanent hiring despite uncertain outlook

Permanent and temporary placements rise 1 per cent year-on-year, yet permanent vacancies decline within IT and Finance, research reveals.

New survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reveals that both permanent and temporary placement hiring has risen year-on-year (1 per cent each).

This is in line with the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which reveals that the unemployment rate remained at an 11-year low for the three months to November last year.

APSCo data, which focuses on professional recruitment, reveals notable variations between the trade association’s core sector groups. While permanent placements across engineering and IT rose (2.4 per cent and 19.1 per cent respectively), placements within finance decreased by 4.6 per cent.

Vacancies decline within IT and Finance

Despite placements rising in December, the number of new jobs coming onto the market fell by 2 per cent. Demand for finance and IT staff fell across both the permanent and contract arenas with the former suffering more so than others with demand for finance plummeting by 14 per cent.

This is perhaps unsurprising given the widespread reports in the latter part of 2016 that banks would be moving large numbers of jobs from the Capital which may very well have stalled recruitment activity.

And following Theresa May’s speech outlining the UKs Brexit Strategy, HSBC and UBS have already revealed plans to move at least 1000 jobs each from London, suggesting that this decline within financial services may well continue as we progress throughout 2017.

Average salaries down

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all professional sectors dipped by 2.8 per cent year-on-year. Despite this, however, pay rose in several sectors – IT and financial services recorded uplifts of 2.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo comments, ‘There is no doubt that parts of the UK jobs market has suffered in the months following Brexit – and our data demonstrates that employers continue to take a far more cautious approach to hiring. However it is not all doom and gloom with several indicators suggesting that the UK is faring better than expected following the referendum.

‘The IMF has raised its forecast for economic growth this year, the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index shows manufacturing growth at a 30 year high, and the latest PwC survey reveals 89 per cent of CEOs are optimistic about growth prospects in 2017 – up from 85 per cent last year.’

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