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Report on Jobs: Contractor demand at two-and-a-half-year high

Tuesday 8th August, 2017
New opportunities for the UK's umbrella company contractors were created at their fastest rate in two-and-a-half years last month, according to new data.

Figures from the latest Report on Jobs from Markit and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) show that there were plenty of vacancies across the board for contractors, freelancers and other workers happy taking on short-term contracts during July 2017.

Particularly significant growth in demand for temporary workers was recorded in the north of England, although businesses across all regions increased their contractor hiring over the course of the month.

Contractors specialising in blue collar disciplines saw demand for access to their skills and services increase at the fastest pace in July, while temporary workers were also highly coveted for nursing, medical and care, and hotel and catering jobs throughout the four-week period.

As is often the case, the increase in demand for contractors was accompanied by offers of higher hourly pay rates, as companies are willing to pay more for access to the skills they require amid the ongoing talent shortage and uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

Indeed, the number of contractors available for roles fell at a fast pace - the quickest recorded in 18 months.

Taking a look at the opportunities on offer for permanent workers, it can be seen that demand was highest in the engineering sector, closely followed by the accounting and finance, and IT and computing industries.

With the skills shortage in mind, contractors may want to consider putting themselves forward for these roles, as long as they can demonstrate the value they can add to clients in just a short-term period.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC, commented: "The jobs market continues to confound expectations with both permanent and temporary placements growing at the fastest rate for over two years.

"Starting salaries are also still rising, so for workers who want to boost their earnings now is a good time to consider moving job. UK employment remains at an all-time high and looks set to keep improving."

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