The latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs makes encouraging reading for Umbrella Company Employees, with demand for both permanent and temporary/contractor roles appearing in rude health.

November saw the strongest overall rate of growth in jobs billings in 19 months, with contactor/temporary vacancies hitting their highest point since March 2011. Much of the increase is attributable to the strong performance of the private sector, which offset the weaker demand in the public sector. Public sector demand for permanent staff fell slightly, but there was a small increase in contractor billings.

Demand for permanent roles was lowest in London and highest in the North. Billings for contactor/temporary staff rose across all the English regions, but was strongest in the Midlands.

Of all the sectors monitored in the report, people contracting in the field of Nursing/Medical/Care found themselves most in demand, continuing a ten-month trend. With the exception of Executive/Professional, which fell slightly, demand in all sectors rose.

REC chief executive Kevin Green welcomed suggestions that the figures reflect an accelerating trend which may get stronger in 2013 when measures announced in the Autumn Statement, such as major infrastructure investments and reduced corporation tax, take effect.

KPMG partner and head of business, Bernard Brown, suggested that the Government’s long-term jobs strategy was beginning to bear fruit; however, he also added a cautionary note: “ But before anyone gets the bunting out, the good news must be seen in the context of a fragile economy that remains susceptible to future shocks. Recovery is by no means certain and we need a few more months like this to suggest that emerging trends are translating into a sustained period of growth in employment.”

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