British employers have shrugged off the early shock of the Brexit vote and are continuing to hire both permanent and temporary/contracting staff, the latest REC/Markit Report on Jobs reveals.

Despite pressing uncertainties about the details of the UK’s Brexit negotiations, data supplied by UK recruiters contributing to the Report reveal that both temporary/contracting and permanent billings continued to climb in September, albeit more moderately than the three-month high recorded for temporary staff in August.

The data suggests a reversal of the decline in permanent placement staff volumes recorded in June and July, as permanent placements have now increased for a second consecutive month.

Pay for both categories of staff also continued to climb, although rates for Umbrella Company Employees and other temporary workers grew at the slowest pace for 40 months.

The number of vacancies for staff also continued to rise in September, indicating that demand remains robust. Temporary staff specialising in the Hotel & Catering sector were most heavily in demand, while the Engineering sector came second in the demand “league table.”

Vacancies for Nursing/Medical/care staff topped the table for permanent staff, just ahead of IT & Computing. Demand for staff in the Construction sector was the lowest for both short-term and permanent roles.

Permanent and temporary/contracting roles both enjoyed strong growth in the private sector, while in the public sector, only temporary vacancies grew (permanent vacancies continued to decline).

Permanent placements were strongest in the Midlands last month but fell in London, while placements of short-term staff were more evenly distributed across all the regions monitored. The exception was Scotland, where recruiters recorded a slight fall.

Commenting, the REC’s Director of Policy, Tom Hadley, said:

“This month’s report contains further evidence that UK employers have shrugged off the initial shock of the referendum result. Overall, permanent hiring is in growth for the second consecutive month. Even more encouraging is the growth in vacancies; consumer confidence and strong demand on businesses has ensured that hirers are creating new jobs.”

“There remains a degree of caution in London, where permanent hiring has been on pause for the last five months. This is likely to be because of uncertainty around the longer-term impact of the referendum result within the financial sector in particular.”

He went on to urge the Government to take due account of the talent shortages faced by many UK employers and to distance itself from some of the rhetoric espoused during last week’s Conservative Party Conference. Workers from overseas, he said, will continue to be needed to staff a range of sectors adequately, from healthcare to engineering.

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