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Sam Pascoe
22nd October, 2014

Contracting Outperforms The UK Labour Market

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A recent article on Contract Calculator claims that contracting is dominating the rest of the UK labour market, and that both demand and agency billings are outperforming the permanent recruitment sector. The increased pay rates, which have reached a seven-year high, and the increasing lack of contractor availability have meant that contractors are taking advantage of the perfect market conditions.

The recent Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) 'Report on Jobs' has also pointed out that IT, engineering and financial contracting performed best out of the core contracting disciplines last month.

Kevin Green, chief executive of REC, has said that despite permanent hiring growth declining to a ten-month low, September still witnessed further growth in demand for contractors and employees. This, according to him, is a sign of the "continued strength of the UK's labour market".

The hourly rate for workers on temporary contracts has increased at the fastest rate for almost seven years, Green says, which is evidence that employers are bringing in contractors with the correct skillsets; and they are "willing to pay to do so".

There are various contract skills that are in demand in the UK at the moment. The ones that have been highlighted by recruiters include construction, finance, IT and engineering. The specific skills vary – from construction project managers to compliance and audit specialists.

Regionally speaking, the majority of contracting activity seems to be concentrated on the Midlands. This region witnessed the "strongest increase in temp pay" and the "steepest reduction in short-term candidate availability".

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