PAYE Umbrella contractors may be cheered by new findings from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG. Numerous reports have been emerging in recent weeks suggesting that the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast of growth next year is over-optimistic at 2.2 per cent. Both the Institute of Directors and the British Chambers of Commerce have predicted growth figures substantially below this (1.2 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively).
Any data that appears to contradict these more pessimistic extrapolations would clearly be welcome. Whilst the new Report on Jobs issued by REC and KPMG doesn’t quite amount to a forecast, it does chronicle an encouraging trend. The UK labour market revived noticeably in November this year, the report shows, after slowing down during the previous two months. Both temporary billings and permanent placements rose at the fastest rate in three months during November, and pay rates for both temporary and permanent staff also increased.
The one negative aspect of the report lies in the relative surfeit of applicants to fill the available job openings, a trend which suggests that contractors working for either umbrella companies or limited companies will inevitably face keen competition for job opportunities. Commenting on the report, Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive, noted that the UK job market continues to be in a “fragile” state, especially in the wake of the public spending austerities, although confidence appears to be returning amongst employers in the private sector. If so, this is a trend that will be welcomed by many of the 2.45 million people (7.7 per cent of the adult population) who are currently looking for work.