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REC JobsOutlook December 2015

Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the representative body for the UK recruitment industry, have shared their latest jobs outlook (published end December 2015), highlighting key trends, forecasts and feedback from UK employers.


Commenting on the report, REC director of policy Tom Hadley said:


“2015 has been a vintage year for the labour market. Employers are confident, hiring has been steady and pay has increased for many people as the benefits of economic growth filter through. The outlook for 2016 is similarly rosy, with many private sector businesses seeking to build upon a successful year by expanding their capacity to take on more work, and also by improving productivity. This should mean even more opportunities for people with the right skills.


Although the overall outlook is upbeat, major challenges are just around the corner. The introduction of the National Living Wage, uncertainty around the EU referendum outcome, and skills shortages that are getting worse in many industries all have the potential to knock employers off their stride. Public sector services such as education and healthcare are already finding it extremely difficult to bring in the people they need. The challenge of ensuring that the demand for staff is met by the supply of suitably skilled candidates casts a shadow over the forecast for 2016.”



Summary of key points:


  • Confidence
    • 82% of employers believe that the economic conditions are improving.
    • However 19% believe that conditions are worsening, an increase on the previous two months.
    • On balance 97% feel that the outlook translates into static or improved prospects for hiring and investment decisions.
  • Short-term outlook (next 3 months)
    • 94% of employers plan to hold or increase permanent headcount. With just 6% of employers are planning to decrease numbers of permanent staff.
    • 99% of employers intend to hold or increase their agency worker numbers whilst only 1% plan to reduce their temporary workforce.
    • With 45% of employers intending to increase their temporary staffing levels REC predict challenges in terms of accessing sufficient numbers of workers with appropriate skills/experience.
  • Medium-term outlook (4 to 12 months)
    • 97% of employers intend to hold or increase permanent numbers in the medium term.
    • Significantly the number of employers to reduce headcount has reduced by half in the previous month from 6% to 3%.
    • REC believes this is an indicator of who tight the market of available candidates will be during this period.
    • 45% of hirers are looking to increase agency headcount in the medium term, an increase on the same period in 2014 when just 37% planned to source additional headcount.
  • Skills shortages
    • Technical and engineering skills have been consistently in the top three anticipated skills shortage for hire throughout 2015
    • The final report of the year shows 14% of employers continue to anticipate a shortage for permanent hires and 15% for agency workers.
  • Sector prospects
    • Anticipated demand for both permanent and agency engineering staff is “accelerating fast”.
    • Agency workers in technology and with office skills continue to experience a “long term upward trend in anticipated demand”.



Source: REC

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