Jobs Outlook Update from a local perspective

Stafflex’s Nemi Alexis brings us an up-to-date outlook on the jobs market.

Job vacancies across Yorkshire and the UK rise at a survey-record rate as businesses struggle to fill positions in an extremely competitive jobs market.

The pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their career options as some opt for more flexible working arrangements or less taxing workloads in a bid to improve their work-life balance.

Warren Middleton, senior partner at KPMG commented: “With the decline of both permanent and temporary staff availability and such high demand in the jobs market for people with certain skills, we are seeing salary inflation as organisations compete for staff.”

From a UK-wide perspective, the first official estimate of UK GDP revealed that the UK economy grew by 4.8% in Q2 2021. Furthermore, the country’s economic output is now 4.4% below its pre-pandemic level.

Job vacancies
Recruitment agencies across Yorkshire reported six successive months of rising permanent staff appointments, which is the longest sequence since the pandemic began early last year.

In addition to this, demand for staff is rising at an accelerated rate compared to the previous record set in Q1 and the North of England report the fastest rate of the regions in the UK.

Staff availability
The availability of permanent staff has declined at an alarming rate – the drop in supply is the worst on record. The declines were widely associated with a reluctance among employees to switch roles due to the pandemic, fewer EU workers, furloughed staff and skill shortages.

Pay pressures
Starting salaries for permanent new staff has increased to a new high compared with data from earlier in the year. This is a direct consequence of businesses having to raise salaries in order to attract candidates in a scarce job market.

The same trend can be seen when looking at temporary pay rates, which has seen record acceleration – the highest for over 23 years.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that average weekly earnings across the UK rose 5.1% on an annual basis to £600 in Q1 2021. If you are a job seeker then it is certainly a great time to be looking for work with the recent surge in job opportunities and a spike in pay salaries.

Stafflex has been operating as a recruitment agency in Huddersfield for over 20 years!

Demand for skills
The shortage of lorry drivers has widely been reported in the news and the demand for skills carries over to many other sectors including all types of accounting/financial positions, blue-collar manufacturing, engineering, professional services including HR, legal and marketing, medical/nursing, retail, administrators.

Impact of ending furlough scheme
It is difficult to know what the impact of the job retention scheme will be, as employers seem to be keeping this matter close to their chests. There have been no clear signs of redundancies starting to pick up in recent survey data ahead of the furlough scheme beginning to wind down.

We hope there will not be a significant loss of jobs now the scheme has ended even though the country currently has over 1,100,000 unfilled vacancies.

We believe the Government made the correct decision to implement the job retention scheme during the worst of the pandemic. It certainly helped reduce the damage to Stafflex, particularly during the first lockdown when most of our client requirements disappeared almost overnight. Under other circumstances, this would have led to the downsizing of the business.

Huddersfield Times

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