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Availability of temporary staff reaches record high

?The availability of workers in the UK throughout June rose at the quickest rate since the depths of economic recession in January 2009 due to redundancies and workers on furlough.

The latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs found there were increases for both permanent and temporary staff numbers, with the latter rising at the quickest rate in the survey’s 23-year history.

Starting pay for both permanent and short-term staff fell in June as demand for workers remained weak and the labour supply continued to increase.

Rates of pay reductions were not as severe as May, yet there were still decreases for both starting salaries and temp wages.

Employee earnings including bonuses rose by just 1% year-on-year in the three months leading up to April, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This was weaker than the 2.3% rate of growth for the previous three-month period and marked the slowest rise in pay since the three months to September 2014.

Permanent staff appointments fell across England, with the steepest reduction seen in London.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said the figures demonstrated a jobs crisis across the country.

He said: “While there are signs that the worst declines are behind us, today’s figures show that it will be a while yet before we see job placements growing month on month. That’s no surprise, as businesses are focusing on bringing furloughed staff back to work, or making redundancies where they cannot be avoided.

“Recruiters will be key to helping those who lose their roles find new work – there are always vacancies out there for jobseekers, though they are at a lower level than normal right now.”

The private sector saw a larger decline in permanent vacancies compared to the public sector, yet the demand for short-term workers fell at a quicker pace in the public sector.

Given hospitality has been one of the sectors worst hit by the impact of coronavirus, the steepest drops in vacancies were seen in hotels, catering and retail.

There was also a decrease in nursing, medical and care roles.

The UK Report on Jobs is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.