Permanent Placements Across London Down in July

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
August 08, 2012 /

July saw a further sharp reduction in the number of permanent appointments across London, with the rate of decline easing only moderately from June’s 39-month record fall.

The decrease was the sixth in successive months, and steeper than the drop at the UK level. Temporary billings in London decreased for the ninth consecutive month during July. The rate of decline was faster than in June, though still only moderate overall. The UK as whole meanwhile saw an eighth straight monthly decrease in billings from the employment of temp staff.

Permanent appointments decreased in all regions bar the Midlands, where no change was registered. Reductions in temp billings across London and the North meanwhile contrasted with marginal and moderate growth in the South and Midlands respectively.

The demand for both permanent and temporary staff in London decreased markedly during July, extending the respective sequences of contraction to three months. In both cases, rates of decline were the fastest for almost three years. In contrast with the trends in the capital, the UK as a whole saw further increases in vacancies for both permanent and
temporary jobs.

After falling slightly in the previous survey period, permanent starting salaries in London increased solidly on average during July. The rate of inflation was the fastest since last August, and above that registered UK-wide.

In stark contrast to the trend in permanent salaries, temp pay in the capital fell at a faster rate – the steepest in 2012 so far. That extended the ongoing period of decline to four months. Meanwhile, hourly
pay rates for temp staff across the UK as whole fell marginally.

Permanent salaries increased across all four monitored regions, with the fastest rise seen in the Midlands. Meanwhile, only the South posted inflation of temporary pay rates. Both London and the North saw falls in temp wages, with the sharper decline registered in the capital.

The number of candidates looking for permanent work in London increased at an accelerated rate in July, and one that was the sharpest since October 2009. Increasing availability has been recorded throughout the past three months in the region. The rate of improvement at the UK level also quickened, though was still down on that recorded in the capital.

London-based recruitment consultants recorded a sharp rise in the availability of candidates for temporary vacancies. Moreover, the rate of
improvement was the steepest for 34 months. Data also showed a robust increase in candidate availability for short-term work across the UK
economy as a whole, with the rate of improvement unchanged since the previous survey period.

The South of England was the only region where the number of permanent candidates decreased in July, with the strongest rise seen in the capital. This trend was repeated with regards to temporary candidate
numbers.

Recruitment and Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green says: “The UK’s labour market deserves a gold medal for its incredible performance in the face of adversity so far this year. In the last few months, it has defied gravity as unemployment has fallen and jobs grew
even while the economy slipped back into recession.

“But this month’s national data shows that permanent appointments have fallen for a second month and temporary employment has seen an eighth consecutive month of contraction and that London is faring particularly badly. However, we have always said that we expected to see ups and
downs in the employment figures rather than a continued sustained period of jobs growth.

“What must be emphasised, though, is that employers are still hiring. In fact, the number of vacancies nationwide has grown, but fragile confidence means they are taking longer to make decisions about appointments and the whole process of recruiting is slowing down. This slowdown is likely to be exacerbated further by thousands of school and university leavers joining the jobs market over the next month.

“On a positive note, there are some sectors that are defying this month’s decline and continuing to experience significant demand for staff, most notably engineering, computing and healthcare.”

 

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