Report on permanent appointments has fallen the greatest since 2016

With data showing the fastest decline in permanent staff appointments since summer 2016, politicians need to call time on political game-playing over Brexit.

This is according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation CEO Neil Carberry, commenting on the findings from the latest REC/KPMG ‘Report on Jobs’. The survey reveals permanent staff appointments fell for the second time in three months in March, and at the quickest rate since July 2016, while temp billings rose at their second slowest rate for two-and-a-half years.

“With business investment rates poor, and little certainty about the path ahead, today’s data shows that the time for political game-playing is over,” Neil Carberry said. “This situation is beginning to affect people’s daily lives as permanent staff appointments fell, and the growth of temporary jobs and starting salaries weakened.

“We can make this slowdown a blip. Ending the uncertainty around Brexit will help firms invest and create jobs. Firms across the country need a stable plan that tells them where they will be next year – not next week.”

This month’s findings also reveal:

  • Availability of both permanent and temporary staff continued to fall markedly at the end of the first quarter.
  • Permanent staff appointments declined in the Midlands, London and the South of England, while the North of England saw a modest increase.
  • The North of England witnessed a marked rise in temp billings, while marginal increases were seen in London and the Midlands. The South of England, however, saw a renewed decline in temp billings.
  • IT & computing and engineering topped the rankings for permanent staff demand at the end of the first quarter. Increased vacancies were witnessed across all other monitored sectors, except in the retail sector.
  • Nursing/medical/care saw the strongest increase in demand for temporary workers during March, followed by hotel & catering, while executive & professional and retail both saw temp vacancies fall.