The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Latest Jobs Data: Permanent Vacancies Resilient as Demand for Contractors Dips


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

  • Permanent vacancies stable year-on-year
  • Contract vacancies fall 10%
  • Contractor vacancies in finance drop by 26%
  • Average salaries increase by 0.8%

Permanent vacancies stable

Professional recruitment firms reported that overall vacancy numbers for permanent roles increased by 0.2% in March 2017, while demand for contractors decreased by 10% 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 both finance and engineering, for example, have increased (by 4% and 3% respectively) permanent vacancies within IT slipped by 7%.

Contractor vacancies continue to fall in the financial services sector

Vacancies for professional contractors decreased by 10% across the board year-on-year, with much of this activity once again attributed to a notable fall in the number of roles within financial services.

The dramatic drop in demand for contractors within financial services, where vacancies decreased by 26% year on year, follows a spectacular boom in temporary vacancies in 2016, suggesting that vacancy levels in this area are now stabilising following a period of volatility.

Average salaries up

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all professional sectors increased by 0.8%. This figure is characterised by notable fluctuations in terms of sector, with engineering, financial services, and IT all recording uplifts (of 1.5%, 3.5% and 1.5% respectively).

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments:

“Just when we thought that external factors could not get any more unpredictable, the Prime Minister has announced a surprise snap election. However, despite the current climate of almost constant uncertainty, permanent hiring levels continue to remain stubbornly stable.”

“Businesses simply have no option but to acclimatise to this ‘new normal’, and unless they plan to put the brakes on hiring for the foreseeable future, decision makers are taking a ‘business as usual’ approach to recruitment.”

“The fact that average salaries have increased year-on-year is further indicative of the strength of the current market, with employers willing to pay to attract – and retain – sought after skills and expertise.”

“While on the surface, the drop in demand for contractors may seem cause for concern, the reality is that this is the market returning to normal after post-referendum jitters. The overall drop in temporary vacancies can largely be attributed to the large fall in demand within financial services – an area where vacancies skyrocketed by 21% in July 2016.”


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.


Related Articles