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Contractors in huge demand for fourth consecutive month, according to survey

Posted on by Joanne Tolson

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) recently published its monthly jobs outlook report. The report is based on a survey which asks employers for their thoughts on topics such as the economy, their businesses and the state of the contracting and freelancing market.

The report shows that 2016 appears to have started on a high note, with 8 in 10 employers believing that economic conditions are on the rise. 97% of employers also fee that the current outlook provides them with the confidence to make further hiring and investment decisions in their teams.

One of the key points highlighted in the report was the fact that 49% of employers interviewed during the survey had increased the pay and earnings of their permanent and temporary staff throughout the year.

Contractors will be happy to hear that 99% of employers plan to hold or increase the number of agency workers they hire over the next quarter. This number has remained static for the past 4 months as demand for contractors and freelancers remains high. Permanent workers, although not as sought-after, still remain competitive as 83% of employers said they plan on increasing the number of permanent workers they currently employ in the next quarter, with 77% looking to do so in the medium term.

Respondents were also asked in which sectors they anticipate to see the biggest decline in skills and talents. The Technical/Engineering industry leads the charge, with 14% of employers expecting to see a decline in workers, while 12% expect to see a shortage of construction workers to fill permanent roles. The finance, education and office sectors instead appear to be those with the current highest demand for workers.

Employers are obviously still very open to using private recruitment companies to source workers. The jobs outlook report shows that 95% of employers who have used a recruitment agency in the past 12 months were at least fairly satisfied with the service they received, a 2% increase from last month which further supports the dominance of contracting in today’s economy. Likewise, satisfaction with candidates was also high this month, with only 5% of employers stating that they weren’t happy with the workers put forward to them.

Overall, this month’s jobs outlook report paints a bright picture for 2016, carrying on the positive momentum gathered towards the end of last year.

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