Rates of temporary hiring rose to their highest levels all year during April, although the overall picture for the jobs market showed some less positive trends.
Data from the latest Report on Jobs from Markit and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has indicated temp billings increased at a sharp and accelerated pace during the month, representing the fastest pace of growth seen in 2017 so far.
Hourly pay rates for short-term staff also increased at the sharpest pace seen this year, with vacancies continuing to rise markedly for both permanent and temporary/contract staff, despite demand dropping slightly compared to March.
However, looking across the jobs market as a whole, the overall trends were less positive, with growth in permanent staff placements slowing to its weakest pace for seven months, while both permanent and temporary hiring saw the steepest deteriorations in candidate availability for 16 months.
Demand for staff rose sharply across the private sector, but declined within the public sector, continuing recent trends.
This shows that plenty of opportunities for talented candidates continue to exist, but businesses are suffering from a lack of qualified candidates, with unemployment at its lowest since 2005, and those already in work becoming more hesitant about moving jobs due to Brexit-related uncertainty.
REC chief executive Kevin Green said: “If British business is to thrive, then whichever party forms a government after June 8th needs to address the ever-shrinking pool of suitable candidates by investing in skills and career advice for UK jobseekers, as well as safeguarding access to the workers we need from abroad.
“It is vital that the future immigration system is agile enough to reflect and adapt to evolving labour market needs.”