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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.“


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Chris is a digital marketing and publishing whizz by trade, having worked alongside the Automotive, Information Security and Software Asset Management sectors.

Specialising in data analysis and social media, he combines an analytical approach with a creative flair to achieve the best results. With a keen interest in Technology and Politics, Chris is constantly on the look-out for the latest stories around change and innovation.

As a lover of all things innovative, he has developed a keen eye for spotting the latest trends and hot topics. He sources and reads the latest news and thought-leadership articles from the world of recruitment before sharing them with the social media population.

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