Despite this overall decline in demand, APSCo’s data does reveal pockets of positivity, most notably within the engineering sector, where vacancies for permanent workers rose by 16 per cent. This, however contrasts demand for contract workers within engineering, which dipped by 20%.
Permanent placements up
Despite an overall dip in demand for talent, permanent placements increased by three per cent in January 2019.
This overall strength can be firmly attributed to a significant 13 per cent year-on-year increase in temporary placements within finance. However, when compared to contract placements within the sector, placements dipped by eight per cent.
Contract market remains slow
While permanent placements increased two per cent in the year to January 2019, the number of contractors out on assignment dipped by five per cent during the same period. Use of contingent workers fell across every one of APSCo’s core sectors, with the exception of financial services.
Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo said: “Despite repeated warnings that the UK economy is at risk of shrinking while Brexit looms on the horizon, GDP growth continues to defy expectations. This resilience is also reflected in the employment market, with the ONS reporting in April that the number of people in work has once again hit a record high. The professional sectors our members represent are no exception, with permanent placements increasing by four per cent year-on-year in April.”
John Nurthen, Staffing Industry Analysts’ Executive Director of Global Research said: "Demand for professional staffing services remains quite tepid while we remain in Brexit limbo. Our index of vacancies for permanent and temporary/contract staff slipped by two per cent and three per cent respectively but there are still some bright spots. Demand for permanent social work and engineering staff seems robust as does temporary/contract finance and IT workers."
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2019