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The latest REC survey is good news for temporary and contract workers

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UK recruitment agencies continued to signal a sharp rise in billings from the placement of temporary and contract workers in September.

That’s despite the rate of growth cooling to a three-month low.

Nearly 40% of respondents to the latest Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) Report on Jobs survey registered a month-on-month increase in temp billings.

The quickest rate of growth was seen in Scotland, followed closely by northern England. London registered the weakest upturn.

Where is demand strongest for temporary and contract workers?

In terms of a sector-by-sector demand breakdown, ‘blue collar’ achieved first place in the rankings for temporary and contract workers during September.

Carpenters and electricians are proving difficult to recruit on a temporary / contract basis due to a shortage of suitably skilled candidates.

All other sectors tracked by the REC – including medical, IT, engineering and construction – also saw steep increases in demand.

Pay rise for temps and contractors

Temp and contractor pay rates increased in September, the REC found.

Agencies based in the Midlands reported the sharpest increase in pay rates for non-permanent staff, though upwards wage pressure was seen across all UK regions.

View from the top

Kevin Green, chief executive at the REC, said:

Recruiters are finding it even harder to fill vacancies. Candidate availability has been falling for the past four years and the record high UK employment rate plus a slowdown in the number of EU nationals coming to work here is exacerbating the situation, potentially leaving roles unfilled.

We urge the government to ensure any new immigration system includes provisions for low-skilled and temporary workers so that warehouses, supermarkets and restaurants can access the people they desperately need.

The Report on Jobs provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original data supplied by recruitment agencies and employers to gauge key current trends.

It is produced by the REC and research company IHS Markit.

ADVANCE is proud to be an official business partner of the REC.

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