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9/16/2015 2:43:46 PM

Skilled workers still in demand, according to REC/KPMG

In August, skilled workers gained an advantage in the jobs market as recruiters struggled to fill posts. The result? The situation is pushing up salaries for both permanent and temporary staff.

Even as the pace of recruitment slowed last month, salaries remained strong. Chief executive of REC, Kevin Green, said the jobs market was “entering a new phase”.

He went on to say: “In response to worsening skills shortages, employers are focusing on retaining the staff they have and this will promote wage growth. Better investment in training and motivating the current workforce should also help to improve productivity”.

The findings were published in the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)/KPMG Report on Jobs for August. The report, published on a monthly basis, demonstrated that the number of people searching for a job fell at its most severe rate since Summer 2014 as the number of job vacancies continued to increase.

One of KPMG’s partners, Bernard Brown, speculated that job applicants with in-demand skills were “having their pick of the job market”. He claimed companies needed to offer more than just an attractive remuneration package to attract skilled candidates, particularly, if they sought to retain them.

As the Bank of England weighs up whether the economy is ready to begin moving away from a long period of low interest rates, the REC/KPMG report offered further evidence that there is a lessening of spare capacity in the job market.

On Thursday, the Bank of England will announce their intentions with the publication of the latest Bank Rate and minutes of their monthly meeting. Economic forecasters are anticipating rates will remain on hold, at 0.5 percent, this time.

Following two years of robust jobs growth, the UK labour market seems to have halted. The UK unemployment figure remains stagnant at 5.6 percent, official figures show.

Many experts believe the ‘missing ingredient’ in our economic recovery is pay growth. However, recent records show that, with regular pay increasing at an annual rate of 2.8 percent, it has clearly started to strengthen. According to official statistics released last week, excluding bonuses, average earnings increased by nearly 3 percent in the second financial quarter.

With salaries increasing at the swiftest pace since 2009 the British workforce may be starting to win back bargaining power.

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