Key points to take away:
• Softer rise in permanent placements as temp billings growth accelerates
• Starting salary inflation holds close to 31-month high amid candidate shortages
• Growth in staff vacancies edges down to 14-month low
Permanent placements expand at softer, but still marked, pace:
Permanent staff placements continued to rise across the UK in February. Though sharp, the rate of expansion moderated slightly since the start of the year. Temp billings meanwhile rose at a faster pace midway through the first quarter.
Staff vacancies rise to weakest extent for 14 months:
Although demand for staff remained robust in February, overall growth of demand softened to its slowest in over a year. Slower increases in staff vacancies were seen for both permanent and temporary positions.
Candidate supply drops at slower rate:
Recruitment consultants reported continued difficulties regarding the availability of suitable staff for permanent and temporary roles in February. That said, rates of deterioration weakened since January and were the least marked for 11- and 13-months, respectively.
Pay growth remains sharp:
The rate of starting salary inflation eased from January’s 31-month peak but remained sharp in February. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates also rose further, and at a faster pace than recorded in January.