Recruitment consultants are asked to specify whether the demand for staff from employers has changed on the previous month, thereby providing an indicator of the number of job vacancies.
Demand for staff rises at subdued pace
At 54.2 in May, the Total Vacancies Index was up slightly from April’s 80-month low of 53.6, and signalled a further increase in staff vacancies. Though strong overall, the rate of expansion remained subdued compared to the historical trend.
Permanent and temporary vacancies
Growth of demand for temporary workers continued to outpace that for permanent staff. Temp staff vacancies rose solidly, despite the rate of expansion easing to a 73-month low. Meanwhile, growth of demand for permanent workers was strong, having picked up from April’s recent low.
Public & private sector vacancies
Vacancy growth continued to be largely driven by the private sector, according to the latest data.
Sharp increases in demand were seen for both permanent and temporary workers in the private sector during May. In the public sector, temp vacancies rose at a steeper pace, but demand for permanent staff fell for the third month in a row.
Latest official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) signalled that the number of job vacancies increased by 3.4% on the year to stand at 846,000 in the three months to April. Although the total number of vacancies remained close to a record high (861,000), there had been falls in each of the past three survey 10 periods.
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