The team at FCR (F1rst Commercial Recruitment) has just received October’s report on the UK’s labour market and as always wanted to share it with you. Whether you’re an employer or a candidate, taking a minute to read through the key points will give you a better idea about the current job market.

Here’s are the main things that we think are worth knowing:

Permanent placements and temp billings continue to rise

  • For October there was a further rise in permanent placements, however, the pace of expansion remained sharp
  • The report suggests that growing staff vacancies and a continued strong demand for staff underpins the latest increase in permanent placements
  • After a marginal drop in September, London saw a solid increase in permanent placements in October
  • Temporary/contract billings increased for the 29th month running
  • Growth of permanent placements was most prominent in Scotland and the midlands, whereas the quickest rate of growth for temporary placements was in the North of England

Availability of candidates is still continuing to decline sharply

  • At the start of the fourth quarter, the number of candidates available for permanent placements continued to fall, with the steepest drop in candidate availability still being in the South of England
  • For the fifty-second (52) consecutive month, the availability of temporary/contract staff has fallen

The main permanent staff skills that are in short supply are as follows:

Accounting/Financial: Accountants, Asset Management, Finance, MIFID, Paraplanners, Risk, Treasury

Blue Collar: Blue Collar, Drivers, Forklift Drivers, HGV Drivers, Production Workers, Semi-skilled Workers, Warehouse Workers, Welders

Construction: Architects, Construction, Quantity Surveyors

Engineering: CNC Engineers/Machinists, Engineers, Nuclear Engineers, Manufacturing Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Project Engineers, Rail Engineers, Safety Engineers, Scientists, Technical

Executive/Professional: Advertising, Compliance, Copywriters, HR, Legal, Litigation Executives, Marketing, RTA Fee Earners

Hotel/Catering: Catering, Chefs, Hospitality

IT/Computing: Application Support, Automation Testers, CAD, Cyber Security, Cisco, DevOps, Digital, GDPR, IT, Java Developers, Matlab, Oracle Fusion, Pen Testers, PHP, Python, Scala Developers, ScrumMasters, Software Developers, UX

Nursing/Medical/ Care: Care Managers, Care Workers, Healthcare Assistants, Home Carers, Nurses, Physicians, Support Workers

Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Personal Assistants

Other: Call Centre, Customer Service, Health & Safety, Languages, Logistics, Sales, Technical Sales, Telesales

The main temporary staff skills that are in short supply are as follows:

Accounting/Financial: Accounts, Audit, Credit Control, Finance, Payroll, Risk, Treasury

Blue Collar: Blue Collar, Carpenters, HGV Drivers, Forklift Drivers, Drivers, Electricians, LGV Drivers, Skilled/Unskilled Workers, Warehouse Workers, Welders

Construction: Construction, Quantity Surveyors. Engineering: Automotive Engineers, CNC Machinists, Electrical Engineers, Engineers, Nuclear Engineers, Oil & Gas, Project Engineers, Rail Engineers, Scientists

Executive/Professional: Advertising, Compliance, Marketing

Hotel/Catering: Catering, Hospitality

IT/Computing: Automation Testers, Application Testers, Cyber Security, Digital, Gaming, GDPR, IT, Pen Testers, Scala Developers, UI Developers

Nursing/Medical/Care: Care Workers, Healthcare Assistants, Home Carers, Nurses, Support Workers

Secretarial/Clerical: Account Clerks, Receptionists

Other: Agriculture, B2B Sales, Customer Service, Languages, Logistics, Retail, Sales, Telesales

Demand for staff

  • The UK Report on Jobs confirms that demand for staff increased again across both the private and public sector during the month of October which is a move away last month where it was stronger in the private sector
  • As in September, the demand for permanent staff in the Accounting/Financial sector was the highest again in October. The IT & Computing and the Engineering sector demands also remain high
  • The demand for temporary staff was the strongest across Nursing/Medical/Care workers, followed by Blue Collar and Accounting/Financial


  • Starting salaries for permanent positions rose again in October
  • The rate of pay inflation for permanent placements was the second-strongest since November 2015 after August this year
  • The rate of pay for temporary placements also increased in October but the rate of inflation softened to the lowest it has been since March this year


  • According to the latest data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), average weekly earnings increased at a softer pace than living costs
  • In the three months leading up to August 2017, average regular pay (not including bonuses) rose by 2.1%

The figures from October show that although employers are continuing to hire, the growth is slowing down. As the data suggests, one reason for this could be that we do not have enough candidates for all the vacancies that are currently being advertised. Employers looking to hire will need to bear in mind that it is a highly competitive job market and so starting salaries will need to be attractive in order to secure the right candidate.   This trend looks likely to continue as Brexit looms and skills gaps widen.