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The December Report on Jobs

Posted on January 11, 2016

Each month, we give you a summary of the latest report on jobs published by Markit in association with KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

With 2016 under way, here is a summary of December’s report and an overall look at how the recruitment market was towards the end of last year.

The key points from December’s survey showed there were slower rises in both permanent and temporary staff, permanent salary growth finally moderated to a 26 month low and candidate availability continued to dip but at a slower pace.

December is always a quieter month and this was evident with staff placements which did increase but at a far more reasonable rate in comparison with November – this was the case for both permanent and temporary workers.

Although placements eased, the number of vacancies increased in December – indicating that the jobs market is still expanding at a marked pace. Latest data from the Office for National Statistics signalled that vacancies rose 6.4% on an annual basis in the three months to November which was up from 6.3% in the three months to October.

Staff demand was felt across most sectors towards the tail end of last year but there was a particular increase in demand for skilled IT workers, especially those with Internet Security knowledge. Accountancy/Financing personnel remained in strong demand although it slipped from the most sought after to the third place behind Executive/Professional workers.

The availability of candidates also fell in December. Part of this was due to anticipated seasonal fluctuations but the fall in available candidates actually fell in comparison with past months. The knock on effect of this is once more, salaries have continued to grow. People placed in both permanent and temporary roles saw an increase in the salary they could demand, predominantly because of the shortage of suitable staff for most roles.

Overall, hiring in December was slow and steady – those with positions which needed filling were keen to do so before Christmas. The jobs market, however, seems to be shifting and moving away from the model of short-term, low risk hiring to taking on more permanent staff – signalling businesses’ increased confidence in the current economic climate.

Several major and high-profile cyber breaches have forced companies into investing heavily on IT systems and support which has created a skills shortage in the sector and recruiters not being able to keep up with demand. Most companies have also found they need to look at training the staff they have or risk losing them to a competitor who will offer them more career development.