Is demand for professional talent dipping?

Is demand for professional talent dipping?


In APSCo’s latest report, the figures show that the demand for permanent professionals is still strong, with some notable exceptions for certain sectors and contractors – hinting that the professionals’ market may be hitting a tipping point.

First, the good news. Despite predictions over job losses in the financial sector, it’s still maintained a 17% increase for permanent placements (up 8% year-on-year), whilst demand for contractors increased by 22% in May 2018.

IT also continues to be resilient, with a 15% increase over the 12-month period, which is a 6% year-on-year increase. Given that private technology is set to invest more than £2bn in the UK (creating some 1,600 new jobs), their future also looks bright.

Now, for the not so good news. Certainly, it’s less positive than it’s been for a while for marketing professionals, who saw an 11% decrease in the number of permanent placements on offer. Couple this with an overall decrease for permanent roles by 3% and contractors demand slipping by 8% (with contractors out on assignment down 18%) and there are signs that demand as a whole for professionals is slowing down.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo said, “While professional hiring levels remain strong for now, there are subtle signs that the growth our members have enjoyed of late may be slowing. Brexit uncertainty shows no sign of abating and with the British Chambers of Commerce predicting that the UK economy is set for its worst year since the financial crisis, it is unsurprising that some employers may be hesitant to advertise new roles.

“However, while demand may be slipping across the board, our data shows that there are pockets of strength. Financial services and IT, in particular, continue to perform incredibly well, but only time will tell if this looks set to continue.”

John Nurthen, Staffing Industry Analysts’ Executive Director of Global Research said, “The latest data from the Office for National Statistics for March suggested that there were 193,000 more jobs added in the UK compared to a year earlier. Unfortunately, this bounty is not benefiting professional staffing firms where our data for May suggests that perm vacancies have declined by 3% and temporary/contract vacancies by 8%. Admittedly, there are some bright spots such as social work, finance and IT, but performance across the whole UK jobs market remains patchy.”

Thursday, 28 June 2018

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