The Christmas period is well and truly over, new year’s resolutions have been made, and the daily grind has begun once again. For many, January is a clean slate, the chance to start afresh. Maybe that means expanding your business? Or maybe you’re finally going to take the plunge and change profession? Whatever 2018 has in store for you and your career, making sure that you’re informed on the current labour market is a great place to start.

Today, FCR received December’s Report on Jobs… A few of you may be wondering, what exactly is “The Report on Jobs?”

Well, in short, it’s a monthly publication that draws on original survey data, from recruitment agencies and businesses across the country, in order to provide a first indication of labour market trends each month.

So why do F1rst Commercial think it’s important to share this information?

FCR firmly believe that when you have an up-to-date picture of recruitment and employment across the whole industry and indeed the country, whether you’re a candidate or an end employer, you can ultimately make better informed decisions. We think that the most important aspects to know are; staff placements, demand for staff, candidate availability and salary changes. Below we have summarized the relevant information from the month of December for each of these aspects:

Staff placements

Based on the information received from recruitment agencies and businesses across the country, there was a steep increase in staff appointments in December. In fact, the number of candidates placed in permanent positions rose for the 17th month running and at the quickest pace since August 2017. A number of recruiters put this down to companies being more willing to hire permanent staff. Similarly, temp billings continued to rise. A couple of reasons suggested for this increase, were the increase in new projects and a greater appetite for short-term staff.

Demand for staff

In order to retain this data, recruitment consultancies are asked to specify whether demand for staff from employers has changed on the previous month which in turn indicates how many job vacancies are out there. In December demand for staff eased slightly but still remains marked. The steepest increase in demand was for permanent staff in the private sector, followed closely by demand for temporary staff. In terms of permanent staff, demand was highest for those working in the Accounting/Financial sector, and weakest for those in Construction. For temporary staff, the figures indicated that demand increased across all of the nine sectors that were monitored. The highest demand was in the Nursing/Medical/Care sector, and, as with demand for permanent staff, the weakest sector was Construction.

Candidate availability

The number of permanent staff available to work declined for the fifty-six month running and at a much sharper pace than in November with the most noticeable decline seen in Scotland and the South of England. Similarly, temporary staff availability also declined in December, declining the most in London.


Both starting salaries for permanent staff and the hourly rate of pay for temp staff rose in December. For permanent placements, the rate of increase was sharp as in November. For temporary placements, the rate of inflation quickened to a three-month high. A number of recruitment consultancies attributed the increase in pay to a combination of strong demand for staff and a shortage of candidates with the necessary skills for certain roles.

So there we have it, the 2017 labour market ended on a high. Keep your eyes peeled for January’s Report on Jobs (which we will post roughly a month today) to see how the UK labour market has performed in the first month of 2018!

Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful New Year!