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Report on UK Jobs – Issued 8 February 2024

Here are our thoughts from this month’s report on jobs:

January into February is always a predictable time when we know permanent hiring is slower and temp requirements will be fewer. This is, in part, due to the end of the financial year for many global corporations (December 31). Year on year, we see a trend of customers pushing to deliver outstanding hiring projects by the end of the calendar year.

Post-Christmas and New Year festivities see outstanding interviews concluded and either successful hires, or those roles then placed on hold until the 2nd quarter of the annual year (or the 1st Quarter for some businesses that run financial years rather than calendar years).

Temporary requirements also always dip post the seasonal peak at Christmas.

Overall, our viewpoint is this month’s reported dip is expected. The test is to see how the economy fares after Easter, as this is when we experience a typical higher demand for permanent and temporary hires.

Areas that continue to keep our focus at Wagstaff:

  • The rate at which certain professions are retiring or leaving their professions is higher than those entering the profession. Engineering and Finance are the two key professions we see a constant demand for, and we do not foresee this changing, even if the UK economy does not perform as strongly as overseas countries.
  • Continuous student engagement and promoting your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is critical, even when you have no plans to hire. Little, consistent promotion of your company ensures you are not at a standing start when you do need to recruit – and you will again, even if it is not this year.

Notable comments on the report:

Jon Holt, Chief Executive and Senior Partner of KPMG in the UK, said:

“We’re starting the year with the labour market remaining tight overall, though we are seeing the number of job seekers increasing as demand softens.

The skills gap is part of this story. We know the UK’s ambition is for technology to drive productivity and economic growth, and yet we still face a shortfall in skilled tech talent. If the UK is serious about equipping the workforce for a modern digital economy, we need Government and business working together and investing in reskilling and upskilling.

Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive, said:

“We can get the wheels of investment turning by recognising that the people stuff matters as much as capital expenditure. Investment in new industries and technologies such as green skills and AI is great and necessary, but we must get more of firms thinking about how they organise work, and how to build new skills to fuel local economies across the UK.”

Interested to read more?

You can read the UK Report here Feb 2024 UK report on Jobs

We have access to a variety of reports, geographical and discipline specific, if you would like more information, please email Ruth detailing the data you would like to see.



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