Temporary Billings in UK Midlands Increase at Fastest Pace Since March 2011

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
September 10, 2012 /

Permanent placements in the Midlands rose in August, the first expansion in three months.

This was according to the data from a survey of recruitment and employment consultants in the Midlands. The report is designed to provide a comprehensive and up-todate guide to labour market trends and the data are
directly comparable with the UK Report on Jobs.

Respondents indicated that client demand had improved. The increase in permanent placements in the Midlands contrasted with a reduction across the UK as a whole. As has been the case in each of the past six months, temporary billings in the Midlands rose.

Steve Hollis, Midlands Chairman of KPMG in the Midlands comments: “The Midlands is consistently bucking the national trend. These latest figures provide further evidence that Midlands business is playing its part to
rebalance the UK economy.

“While overall confidence levels are still fragile, the Midlands is clearly seeing the benefits from an
increasingly competitive broad based business community.”

Furthermore, the rate of expansion was substantial, and quickened to the sharpest since March 2011. Short-term staff billings also increased at the UK level, but the rate of growth was much slower than recorded in the Midlands.

The Midlands and the South of England were the only monitored regions to post an expansion of permanent placements in August, with London and the North both recording declines. All four regions saw a rise in temporary billings, with by far the sharpest increase registered in the Midlands.

Further rises in demand for staff were recorded in August. Permanent staff vacancies increased sharply, with the rate of growth the fastest since last September. Demand for temporary staff also increased at a sharper rate during the month. In both cases, the rises in demand in the Midlands were more marked than recorded across the UK economy as a whole.

The number of candidates for permanent positions in the Midlands rose for the second successive month in August. That said, the latest increase was only slight and much weaker than that recorded in the previous month. The rise in the region was also slower than the UK average.

Meanwhile, the availability of short-term staff increased again. The pace of increase in temporary candidate numbers was solid, despite easing over the month. The rise in temporary staff availability in the Midlands was the same as that recorded across the UK economy as a whole.

The North of England posted the strongest rise in permanent candidate numbers, with only the South seeing a fall. All four regions recorded increased temporary candidate availability, led by the North.

Permanent salaries in the Midlands increased for the third successive month in August. The rate of inflation slowed over the month, but was still faster than the average recorded across the UK as a whole. After stagnating in July, temporary staff pay rates increased sharply in the Midlands during August.

Furthermore, the rate of inflation was the fastest since February. Hourly pay rates were broadly unchanged at the UK level.

Only London posted a reduction in permanent salaries, with the South of England registering the fastest increase. The Midlands recorded the steepest rise in temporary pay rates, while both London and the North of England saw hourly pay decrease.


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