On February 8th, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) published its latest Report on Jobs, which included what could be the beginning of a turnaround for permanent job vacancies and appointments. For the first time in four months, the numbers of permanent jobs filled were slightly up. This indication of growing business confidence is really good news for unemployed job seekers who have been victims of the recession.
Sectors on the Up, and Sectors Going Down
The sectors showing the most growth were the engineering and construction industries. This backs up the predictions of the Global Construction Survey of 2012 by major international accountancy and consultancy firm, KPMG.
Other sectors appearing healthier include areas such as IT and office workers, who of course will also be needed by engineering and building companies, as well as right across all industry sectors.
Their poor relations are definitely in the hospitality sector, where permanent jobs for hotel and catering staff are on the wane. This is an area which has been particularly badly hit by the economic downturn, with the middle market overtaken by the demand for budget accommodation and services, although luxury hotels still have their affluent clientele.
The Reverse of the Coin
In the temporary worker area, the news is not so good. Vacancies and appointments were down in December and down again in January. Can it be a coincidence that this has occurred following the imposition of the Agency Workers Regulations last October? Many people believe this is at least partly to blame.
Also not such good news for job seekers is that salaries are pretty static or depressed. It’s an employers’ market at present, with fierce competition for the vacancies they advertise.
The REC Research
The REC compiles its Jobs Report, together with KPMG, after the end of each month when data has been collected from the 400 recruitment agencies in the UK that make up its survey panel. The size of this survey sample, and the high regard in which all REC research is held, means that the findings are accepted as the most comprehensive guide available on the UK’s job market.
This and other publications from the REC all play their part in helping recruitment agencies to advise and help their clients on both sides of the recruitment fence. And it’s refreshing this month to be able to pass on some good news about the economy for a change, even if it is just a small glimmer of hope.