The UK job market continues to slide in 2024 as economic uncertainty continued to dent business confidence, according to KPMG and REC’s latest Report on Jobs.
Vacancies fell for the third in four months in December despite the supply of candidates continuing to ‘rise sharply’.
Recruiters cited that reduced hiring levels and a spike in redundancies had widened the pool of candidates for both full-time and part-time roles. However, overall starting pay rose in December due to the demand for skilled workers.
Responding to the findings, Derek Mackenzie, CEO of Investigo, part of The IN Group, commented: “In 2024, businesses must turn to skilled staff to boost organisational productivity and drive overall business growth despite the uncertain economy. Using the technology sector as an example, the sharp rise in AI adoption in 2023 didn’t wait for the economy and businesses must be equipped to harness the next innovation as part of their digital transformation journey.”
“It’s positive to see the supply of staff remain high, but the challenge now is for businesses to bring them on board in the right roles, provide training and maximise their skillsets. Hiring through means such as flexible contracts or entry-level positions can be a cost-effective way of onboarding new tech talent, while training schemes to promote upskilling and reskilling can help existing staff fill senior roles. Organisations must continue to focus on people despite economic turbulence, unlocking their skillsets and empowering them to lead growth” he continued.
The four monitored UK regions by KPMG and REC all reported a decline in permanent staff appointments with the Midlands seeing the sharpest fall.
Despite the dip, it was found that permanent placements and temp billings fell at softer rates than in November.