F1rst Commercial Recruitment report on jobs for April 2021At the halfway mark for the year, 2022 is a picture of uncertainty which is, of course, fuelling an extremely tight labour market. The fact remains that it is still a strong and positive time for candidates, and individuals should use current conditions to boost their career amidst employers who are being forced to remain competitive with higher salaries and varied opportunities.

Here I take you through the main findings from June 2022 from the latest REC’s Report on Jobs.

  • Sizeable slowdown in growth of permanent jobs

We have now seen the number of people being placed into permanent jobs increase for 16 months in a row. However, what’s notable is that the growth has now been the slowest recorded for 16 months indicating that candidate shortages and lower confidence amongst employers about rising costs is starting to be evidenced. It’s not just that the reduction in growth is notable; it’s now been continuous since December last year.

  • Temporary workers remain vitally important

Once again there has been a rise in the number of temporary staffing signalling 23 months of growth. However, there’s a slight dip since February 2021 in terms of the rate of expansion.

  • Softest increase in vacancies since March 2021

The number of vacancies is continuing to rise at record pace. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed there were 1,300,000 vacancies in the three months to May – the highest number recorded and up +69.9% on this period last year.

However, the upturn was the least intense for 15 months having slipped to 67.9 in June from 71.0 in May, signalling the slowest recorded growth since March 2021.

The number of permanent vacancies continues to rise faster than temporary ones.

  • Candidate availability is a glaring concern

The availability of staff continues to fall at a fast pace, with June seeing the sharpest deterioration in three months. With low unemployment, strong demand for workers, uncertainty amongst candidates and fewer foreign workers, it’s difficult to find candidates. There has been a contraction in the availability of candidates for 16 months in a row now.

  • Pay continues to rise

As would be expected in this climate of candidate shortages, pay continues to rise. Although the increases are sharp, it’s worth noting that starting salary inflation has eased to the softest since August 2021 for permanent workers.

The ONS reports that employee earnings over the three months to April 2022 have increased by +6.8% which while still sharp represents a slightly slower rate than the preceding three months.

All-in-all, the latest data continues to reveal the tightness of the labour market and demonstrates that businesses are finding it difficult to fill their vacancies.

The cost of living crisis may push some currently economically inactive people back into the workplace, which will help to some degree. However, what the latest data reveals is that competition between employers will remain intense and as such companies need to partner effectively with the best recruitment agencies to secure the permanent and temporary candidates they need.

As Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC says,

“The labour market is still strong,”

and it’s important not to lose sight of that amidst concerns. Indeed, the post-pandemic hiring spree could never have been sustained at the rate it was at, so our attention now should turn to the affect rising inflation will have.