UK Job Placements Fall Further On Bleak Outlook, Labor Shortages

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Permanent placements in the United Kingdom decreased further at the end of the year 2022, as hiring activity was dampened by the rising economic uncertainty, low candidate numbers along with the squeeze on clients budgets, results of the KPMG/REC Report on Jobs survey, compiled by S&P Global, showed Tuesday.

Permanent job placements decreased for the third month in a row, the survey showed, based on the responses of around 400 consultancy firms. The survey data was collected from December 6 to 19.

Growing economic uncertainty and pressures on budgets weighed on permanent staff appointments. At the same time, billing for temporary staff rose marginally. 

The overall rate of vacancy growth softened for the ninth straight month and was the slowest since the current sequence of increase began in February 2021. 

Uncertainty surrounding the outlook also dampened candidate availability, as more people were cautious around seeking out new roles in the current climate in an already tight labor market.

Among regions, the South of England logged the sharpest decline in permanent staff appointments, while the softest was seen in London.
"Overall, the jobs market looks less than rosy at the start of 2023, so employers who hold their nerve and continue to invest in skills in particular are likely to benefit most when the economic upturn comes," Claire Warner, partner - skills and productivity at KPMG, said.

The survey also showed that pay pressures continued to ease at the end of the year, yet remained strong in historical comparison. The rate of both starting salary and temp pay growth hit their lowest since April 2021.

Higher rates of pay were often reported in places facing insufficient staff supply and rising cost of living.

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