Report on Jobs: COVID-19 pandemic leads to record falls in recruitment activity

Monday, May 11, 2020

The latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey pointed to a sharp deterioration in conditions across the UK jobs market as businesses put their recruitment plans on ice amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, permanent staff appointments and temp billings fell at the sharpest rates in the survey’s 22-year history.

Strict measures to contain the spread of the virus, which include temporary company closures, also led to a record drop in overall vacancies. Weaker demand for staff also drove renewed falls in starting pay. At the same time, the availability of candidates rose at the steepest rate since 2009 amid widespread reports of redundancies.

The report is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies. Cream Personnel Services provides monthly data for this survey.

Key findings 

  • Record falls in permanent placements and temp billings
  • Demand for staff plummets and starting pay declines
  • Staff availability rises at quickest rate since November 2009 amid reports of redundancies

Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the UK jobs market with a record drop in vacancies and recruitment plans frozen.

“The uncertainty over the outlook is weighing heavily on the nation – we estimate that as many as 13 million jobs are highly affected by the lockdown, representing just over a third of all jobs in the UK.

“It’s an unprecedented situation for UK business and resilience, then recovery, is key to navigating through the crisis. All eyes will also be on the Government’s forthcoming announcement on easing current restrictions so confidence in the jobs market can start to rebuild.”

If you would like to view the full report, please contact us and we can send you a copy of the full report.

Working from offices in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent; Cream Personnel Services is a name that is synonymous with recruitment in North Staffordshire. Established in 1973 we have become the first choice Recruitment Agency for job seekers and employers throughout Stoke-On-Trent and the wider region.