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Latest jobs data: Permanent vacancies resilient as demand for contractors dips

- Permanent vacancies stable year-on-year
- Contract vacancies fall 12%
- Particular candidate shortages in social work, engineering and finance sectors
- Average salaries increase by 1.2%

Permanent vacancies stable

Professional recruitment firms reported that overall vacancy numbers for permanent roles increased by 0.3% in April 2017, while demand for contractors decreased by 12% year-on-year, according to new survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
APSCo’s data, which focuses on professional recruitment, reveals notable variations between the trade association’s core sector groups in terms of hiring activity. While permanent vacancies across social work have increased significantly (by 36%), permanent roles within IT slipped by 6%.

Permanent placements increased by 4% year-on-year while contractor placements also rose by 4% over the same period, further signalling market resilience.

Candidate shortages becoming more evident

APSCo’s data also points towards the ever growing skills shortage plaguing several sectors including social work, engineering and finance. Demand for social work professionals, for example, increased by 36% year-on-year while 17% fewer jobs were filled during the same period. This is in keeping with widespread reports of shortages facing the professional social worker arena in recent months.

Average salaries up

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all professional sectors increased by 1.2%. This figure is characterised by notable fluctuations in terms of sector, with engineering and financial services both recording uplifts (1.9% and 4.8% respectively).

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments:

“Despite the current climate of uncertainty, permanent hiring levels continue to remain stable, demonstrating the resilient nature of the recruitment sector. In addition our data reveals that average salaries have increased by 1.2% year-on-year which is a further positive sign for the labour market.”

“However with the election just around the corner, and Brexit on the horizon – which threatens to impact the UK’s access to professional talent – the recruitment industry is facing a challenging road ahead. This is why we are urging the Government to undertake a review of the UK labour market to ensure employment legislation remains ‘fit for purpose’ and enables flexible working to flourish in the wake of growing skills and candidate shortages which could be exacerbated in a post Brexit era.“

- Ends

Carly Smith
BlueSky PR
T: +44 (0)1582 790 708
Notes to editors:
Professional Recruitment Trends is the only monthly publication providing original data and analysis on the professional staffing market. It is produced jointly by APSCo and Staffing Industry Analysts.
APSCo is the membership body that is dedicated to representing professional recruitment in the UK. It was formed to give all firms involved in the recruitment of professional talent who have a commitment to excellence, the specialist support and distinctive voice they need to be successful. It gives candidates and employers a trusted badge of quality whilst providing member firms with an innovative range of services designed for them by recruitment experts. These services, combined with its growing international profile, commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and opportunities for professional networking give APSCo members a unique opportunity to develop their businesses and gain competitive advantage (

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