The number of people placed into permanent positions in the capital decreased in September, thus ending a 10-month track record of growth.
That’s according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Report on Jobs.
Though only marginal, the decline contrasted with another marked expansion across the UK as a whole, albeit the weakest since April. An increase in permanent staff placements was evident in each region monitored by the survey, except for London.
However, the actual number of permanent job vacancies in London increased in September, continuing a trend that has been evident since August last year. Notably, the rate of growth remained sharp while candidate availability has waned. Demand for temporary staff in London also rose at a marked pace, albeit weaker than seen in August.
Meanwhile, London-based recruitment consultancies reported a further rise in permanent starting salaries in September. The rate of inflation weakened slightly from the previous month but remained above the historic average for the series. Permanent salaries also increased at the national level, with the sharpest rate of wage inflation being recorded in the South of England.
Temporary pay rates in London also increased in September, extending the current sequence of expansion to over four-and-a-half years. Following a similar trend to permanent pay growth, the rate of temporary wage inflation eased slightly from August but remained marked and sharper than the long-run series average. Temporary wages also rose further at the UK level in September, albeit at a weaker pace than in the previous month.
Kevin Green, REC chief executive said: “Recruiters are finding it even harder to find people 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.
“Across the UK permanent placements are slowing, but London is faring worse with placements declining for the first time in eleven months and the financial sector in particular struggling to recruit for roles such as audit, payroll and risk.
“Low-skill roles are also hard to fill in areas like food processing, warehouses and catering: sectors that employ a higher proportion of people from the EU than others across the economy. 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.”