In December 2020, there was a slow rise of permanent staff recruitment, which was followed by a sharp decline of the same in January (according to the latest KPMG and REC and UK Report on Jobs survey). This change affected both the public and private sectors. The reintroduction of national lockdown measures in January 2021, owing to the rise of COVID-19 cases, has been said to be a reason for this decline and the greater uncertainty of the current economic climate.
The availability of job applicants continues to increase, however, January 2021 saw the smallest increase compared to the previous ten months, which many recruiters put down to individuals’ reluctance to move jobs in the current uncertain economic climate. The continued rise in the number of job applicants is said to be due to increased redundancies.
Whilst permanent job appointments have declined, temporary recruitment continued to rise in January 2021 for the sixth month in a row, particularly for the private sector. The levels of temporary recruitment remained steady in the public sector. These levels illustrate the importance of temporary working to assist businesses in recovering from the pandemic. Short-term vacancies rose quickly in nursing/medical/care and blue-collar, which indicates a need for staff to temporarily fill job roles rather than allowing for long-term job opportunities for applicants.
It is hoped that the progress of the vaccination programme will lead to the recovery of businesses. Which, in turn, will increase the need for permanent hiring in due course.