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businesses are taking a strategic and measured approach to staffing to ensure long-term stability

- Permanent vacancies increase 1% year-on-year
- Demand for contractors slips by 12%
- Permanent placements up 4% year-on-year
- Vacancies in IT decrease 6%
- Average salaries dip 1.6%

Permanent vacancies and placements up

Professional recruitment firms reported that overall vacancy numbers for permanent roles increased by 1% year-on-year in June 2017, while placements climbed by 4% during the same period, 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 both finance and engineering, for example, have increased (by 10% and 3% respectively) permanent vacancies within IT slipped by 6%.

Vacancies for professional contractors decreased by 12% across the board year-on-year, with demand falling across every core sector group.

IT sector stumbles

Demand for permanent professionals within the IT sector dipped by 6% year-on-year in July 2017, with vacancies for contractors to work in this area decreasing by 12% over the same period. The number of IT contractors on assignment also fell by 21% year-on-year, although permanent placements remained stable, dipping by just 0.3%.

This comes at a time when major employers including HSBC and RBS have announced that they are shedding scores of IT contractors in the UK to ensure they remain efficient in uncertain times. RBS alone is cutting its temporary IT workforce by 65% in the UK by moving its IT function to India.

Average salaries dip

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all professional sectors dipped by 1.6% in July 2017. This figure is characterised by notable fluctuations in terms of sector, with engineering, financial services, and construction all recording uplifts (of 2.7%, 4.9% and 3.4% respectively).

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments:

“While the UK economy remains strong, there are subtle signs that the next year may be a bumpy ride with ups and down. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), for example, has revised its growth forecast for the UK, saying that it now expects the country’s economy to grow by 1.7% this year compared to a previous forecast of 2%, and consumer spending fell for a third consecutive month in July.”

“The strength of the UK economy relies on its flexibility, which is why it is unsurprising that demand for contractors is stalling against this backdrop. Fluctuations in demand for IT contractors, for example, suggest that businesses are taking a strategic and measured approach to staffing to ensure long-term stability, which is reflected in the fact that permanent placements remain strong across the board.”

John Nurthen for Staffing Industry Analysts, which compiles the report for APSCo, says:

“Unusually, we are seeing continuing deterioration in both the demand and supply for IT professionals at a time when permanent and flexible jobs in Engineering and Finance are doing well. This contrast suggests that general economic and Brexit trends are being experienced in quite diverse ways across the UK jobs market.”

- 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

Staffing Industry Analysts is the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions. The company’s proprietary research covers all categories of employed and non-employed work including temporary staffing, independent contracting and other types of contingent labour. SIA’s independent and objective analysis provides insights into the services and suppliers operating in the workforce solutions ecosystem including staffing firms, managed service providers, recruitment process outsourcers, payrolling/compliance firms and talent acquisition technology specialists such as vendor management systems, online staffing platforms, crowdsourcing and online work services.

For more information, contact BlueSky PR on 01582 790 700

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