First increase in Northern job placements since February, new report reveals

The North saw the first increase in permanent job placements in September for seven months, a new KPMG and REC report has shown.

Placements rose for the first time in seven months, with recruitment firms saying companies were more prepared to hire following the reopening of the economy after the effects of the Covid pandemic.

September’s data also pointed to a third successive monthly increase in temp billings in the North of England – and reached its fastest rate of acceleration since October 2018.

The report, compiled by IHS Markit, is based on information obtained from 100 recruitment and employment consultancies across the entire North of England.

However it also revealed a “substantial” rise in availability at the end of the third quarter, with redundancies the “principal” factor leading to higher candidate numbers.

Euan West, office senior partner for KPMG in Leeds, said: “While it’s encouraging to see recovery in hiring activity, with growth in permanent staff appointments for the first time in seven months, it’s concerning to see another rapid rise in candidate availability.

“With increasing unease over what will happen in the coming months with the pandemic, Brexit and with the end of the furlough scheme in sight, the uncertainty for UK business is not going to dissipate anytime soon.

“The Government has got challenging times ahead to continue to offer adequate support to business, opportunities for jobs seekers to upskill while helping instil confidence in the workforce of the region.”

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The number of candidates for temp positions also increased sharply during September, extending the current sequence of expansion to eight months. The increase was “widely linked” to redundancies as a result of the pandemic, the report said.

Despite that, vacancies for permanent roles continued to fall, despite the decline being “much softer” than that seen in August.

The report, released on Thursday, added that there were temp pay rises for the first time since February, despite permanent starting salaries decreasing.

Business Live – North West