According to the ONS
With a 9% increase to the end of March 2018, the professional skills sector has seen continued growth in permanent jobs for 13 months with no sign of slow-down, as the number of contractors out on flexible assignment continues to fall, maintaining a decline of -17% for the second month running against the same period last year.
With labour market statistics published this week by the Office for National Statistic (ONS) based on data from December 2017 – February 2018, showing that unemployment is the lowest since 1975, hiring businesses are continuing to shore up their talent amidst concerns that the continuing uncertainty around the status of flexible working options is impacting on the UK’s flexible labour market and could affect the country’s productivity.
With contractor vacancies also in decline by -10% against the same period last year, the only professional skills sector to buck this trend is Financial Services showing an above average increase in permanent hiring of 11% and notable growth of 18% in the number of flexible assignments as the sector prepares for Brexit and continues to seek easy access to EU talent.
Ann Swain, CEO for APSCo says:
“The gap between permanent placements and flexible assignments continues to polarise, against a backdrop of increasing concerns from businesses as to how they will fill jobs as unemployment rate falls to lowest rate since 1975. Ironically, whilst the Financial Service sector remains strong in its hiring strategies, this has not been reflected in salary growth in that sector which is currently showing a -1.8% drop against the same period in 2017”.
John Nurthen, Staffing Industry Analysts’ Executive Director of Global Research commented:
“Those professional staffing firms with a bias towards permanent placement will be relishing the current market while those supplying temporaries and contractors have been increasingly squeezed since Summer 2017.
“Finance is the only sector where placements increased across both categories of workers giving some hope to the government’s claim last week that the UK’s financial services industry will emerge largely unscathed from Brexit and suffer far fewer job losses than first feared. However, with continuing uncertainty about passporting arrangements (which allows financial firms in one EU state to service clients in another without setting up local subsidiaries), the safety of finance jobs through the Brexit transition remains unclear.”