Strong rises in demand for staff as recruitment confidence returns

2003

The availability of staff on the jobs market declined for the first time in two-and-a-half years during November as demand by employers hit a thirty-three month high.

According to November’s Deloitte and Touche / Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Report on Jobs, permanent staff placements and temporary staff billings both showed strong rises, exposing skill shortages and exerting upward pressure on salaries and temporary staff rates.

Deloitte’s Brett Walsh said that permanent staff placements were rising at the fastest rate since October 2000, showing that the recruitment market was gaining momentum.

“Nevertheless, with staff availability falling for the first time in two-and-a-half years, the job market is clearly tightening and certain skill shortages are being exposed,” he added. “This again resulted in employers offering significantly higher salaries in order to attract the right candidates."

The number of people placed in permanent positions by recruitment consultancies rose for the sixth successive month in November and at the strongest rate since October 2000. Meanwhile, billings received from the employment of temporary and contract staff also rose for the sixth month running in November, with the rate of growth picking up to the fastest since February 2001.

Recruitment consultancies linked strengthened demand for staff to improved business confidence, which has encouraged an increased number of employers to return to the job market.

The rise in permanent staff placements added to the level of private sector employment, which showed growth for the fourth consecutive month. However, despite being the fastest since March 2001, the rate of expansion of actual employment was again only modest.

Sector-by-sector, staffing levels rose in the service and construction industries, but continued to fall in the manufacturing sector. Demand also rose for all main types of employee, with secretarial skills leading the way. However demand for temporary nursing and care staff fell for the first time since October 2002.

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