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Report on Jobs: Softer decline in recruitment activity at end of 2023

Key Findings

  • Slower falls in both permanent placements and temp billings
  • Rates of pay growth pick up from November lows
  • Candidate supply continues to rise sharply


Recruitment intentions remained subdued as 2023 drew to a close, according to the latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey, compiled by S&P Global. Permanent placements and temp billings declined again in December, albeit at softer rates than in November, as employers maintained a cautious stance regarding hiring amid the weaker economic climate. At the same time, overall vacancies fell slightly for the third time in the past four months.

The supply of candidates meanwhile continued to rise sharply, despite the rate of expansion easing from November’s near three-year record. Recruiters often mentioned that redundancies and lower levels of hiring activity had increased the pool of available candidates for both permanent and temporary roles. Nevertheless, competition for suitably-skilled workers remained a key factor pushing up rates of starting pay again in December.

The report is compiled by S&P Global from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.

Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said:

“The slowdown in our labour market seems to be easing a bit. Given that December is a time when employers generally postpone activity into the new year, this is a positive sign that the labour market is weathering the current economic storm.

“Recruiters went into 2024 with hope that an upturn is coming, based on feedback from clients. Driving this economic growth would be a huge benefit for us all, leading to more successful firms, higher pay, and the ability to cut taxes and fund public services. But the growth must come first. The Chancellor has already set a date for the Budget – he should use it to set out steps that set firms free to grow the economy, from skills reform to regulatory change, including a more balanced debate on immigration for work and its impact on growth.

To read the full article, follow the link below:

Report on Jobs: Softer decline in recruitment activity at end of 2023 :: The REC

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