April sees staff rates falling but pay growth on the up

  • Pay & Benefits
staff rates falling
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

The latest KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) report on UK jobs has found the number of workplaces is still slowly dropping while salaries are increasing

Permanent and temporary position appointments are still seeing drops, but only slightly over all sectors, the 19th month in a row this has been the case.

Additionally, the number of permanent and temporary positions in the accounting sector was significantly lower than in April 2023.

Wage growth is still on the up to attract talent into positions, with pay has been increasing for temporary and permanent positions for the last 38 consecutive months. Temporary positions experienced the sharpest wage increase since June 2023.

Availability of candidates is in fact at a five-month high, with the fastest increase since November 2023.

Neil Carberry, REC chief executive, said: ‘The critical moment in any labour market slowdown is the point at which demand starts to turn around.

‘Today’s hiring data suggests that point is close, with fewer recruitment firms reporting a drop in demand. While the trend is still gently down, the pace of decline in permanent hiring is the slowest in ten months.’

The number of positions available still remains high, but 13,000 lower than December 2023. There are still significantly higher vacancies than before the pandemic when there were 796,000 jobs posted in from January-March 2020. The total number in April 2024 was 916,000.

The accountancy and financial sector has many skills in short supply for permanent positions, such as auditors, book keepers, credit controllers, entry-level accountants, financial analysts and more.

Similarly, with temporary positions, there are multiple skills in short supply here, with accountants, auditors, bookkeepers, credit controllers, entry level finance positions and payroll staff being the most sought-after.

Jon Holt, chief executive, and senior partner of KPMG said: ‘While there are still complexities, like pay rates improving due in part to last month’s 9.8% rise in the National Living Wage, overall pressure is easing on the labour market.

‘Ongoing weak demand is driving the steady decline in permanent staff appointments month on month, and we’ve seen a sharp uptick in candidate availability.’

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