As hiring confidence across the Midlands and the Wider UK continues to rise, staff availability sees rapid reductions.
Demand for staff continues to rise at a significant pace.
The REC’s Reports on Job’s May survey data indicated a sharp and accelerated rise in both Permanent and Temporary vacancies across the UK, with the expansion, marked the quickest for 23 years. This is likely to be driven by the easing of lockdown restrictions and key sectors such as hospitality reopening to the public.
What does this mean?
In May, the number of total vacancies across the UK stood at 657,000. This is the highest level since ‘pre-covid’ March 2020, and well above the record low of 341,000 that was registered in mid-2020 (mid-covid).
Across the Midlands, it’s a similar story, with data signalling a sustained increase in the number of permanent vacancies during May, remaining at a historically high level.
At the same time, temporary vacancies rose at a quicker pace in May, with the rate of increase the steepest recorded since June 2015.
“Temp billings growth hits 75-month high” REC, Report on Jobs May 21
In the recent “Employment Outlook Survey”, participants were asked if they intend to add to or reduce their workforce in the coming months. Data collected indicates that many employers plan to increase hiring rather than decrease staffing levels, suggesting this demand is only set to rise further.
A large proportion of this demand is likely to be the result of various redundancies, hiring freezes and company adjustment that occurred due to the pandemic.
Which sectors are seeing an increased demand for staff in the Midlands?
Across the Midlands, Accounting and Financial sectors are experiencing a high demand for both permanent and temp staff, with roles such as Accountants, Auditors, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers and Payroll appearing top of the list.
This is a similar situation with the following roles:
Hearing Aid Dispensers
In the UK overall, Blue Collar and Hotel & Catering see the largest demand for temporary staff
IT & Computing and Hotel & Catering have the highest demand for permanent staff across the UK
Staff availability continues to rapidly deteriorate
However, this substantial increase in demand is challenged by a detreating rate of staff availability.
The decline in total candidate availability across the UK continues to gather pace. Data collected from across the UK evidences yet another decrease in the availability of permanent candidates during May. This fall marks the fourth in a row, and the lowest since May 2017.
A similar trend was recorded for temporary workers as temp staff supply across the UK fell for the third month running, and at the quickest rate since November 1997.
In the latest report the REC links factors such as the “lingering pandemic uncertainty and a subsequent reluctance to seek out new roles, fewer EU candidates and furloughed staff” to the detreating staff availability.
Staff availability in the Midlands
Permanent staff availability deceased for a second successive month with the pace of reduction falling sharply to the lowest level in two years; 21.7% lower than December 2020. However, in comparison to the UK as a whole, The Midlands recorded the second-softest decline, behind London, as all four monitored regions saw staff availability fall.
This lack of availability was duplicated across temporary staffing throughout the Midlands, as numbers fell for the third month in a row. While the rate of decline was broadly unchanged from the previous survey period, it remains significantly low when comparing to the past six month period (14.4% lower than that of December 2020).
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