Recruitment consultants are asked to report whether availability of permanent and temporary staff has changed on the previous month. An overall indicator of staff availability is also calculated.
Sharpest drop in candidate availability for four months
The overall availability of candidates across the UK continued to decline sharply in May. Notably, the rate of reduction quickened to the steepest since January.
Broken down by candidate type, the number of 30 people available for permanent work continued 20 to contract at a quicker pace than that seen for temporary staff. Nonetheless, respective rates of decline remained much stronger than seen on average over the survey history.
Faster decline in permanent candidate supply
As has been the case for just over six years, the availability of candidates to fill permanent job roles declined in May. Furthermore, the rate of contraction was the sharpest since January and remained much quicker than seen on average over the series history. Panellists frequently linked lower candidate numbers to increased uncertainty regarding the outlook, while generally tight labour market conditions were also cited.
All four monitored English regions registered marked reductions in permanent candidate supply, led by the South of England.
Temp candidate numbers fall at quickest rate for three months
Recruitment agencies signalled a further decline in the supply of temporary staff during May. The pace of contraction was the sharpest for three months and notably quicker than the long-run series trend. A generally low unemployment rate and widespread skill shortages were mentioned by a number of panel members, while there were also reports of fewer EU candidates.
The reduction was broad-based across all four monitored English regions, with the Midlands noting the steepest drop in temp labour supply.
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