The end of last year saw increased demand and the biggest rise in rates for contractors for three months, Contractor Calculator reports.
According to the latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)/KPMG Report on Jobs, the rise in fees and sharp reduction in availability means that the contracting sector was at a quarterly high at the end of 2014.
However, despite signs that economic growth is looking more stable for 2015, the report also pointed to uncertainty surrounding the general election in May, which could have a negative impact on the UK labour market.
Kevin Green, REC’s chief executive, explained further:
“The prospect of increased government intervention in the labour market as promised by the Left, questions around Britain’s position in the European Union (EU) which are being posed by the Right, and the potential for protracted negotiations around a hung parliament come May could affect business confidence and hence future hiring.”
But this uncertainty could in fact be good news for contractors and independent workers, who could find it easier to get work as businesses hire more contractors to mitigate employment risks.
In fact, according to KPMG partner Bernard Brown, temporary roles saw a surge in popularity at the end of last year. This has caused a third of recruiters to say that workers looking for short-term positions are becoming more and more “spoilt for choice”.
Of the contracting sectors most in demand in December last year, the non-core disciplines of nursing/medical care, blue collar and hotel and catering took the top three spots. This was followed by IT and computing, financial, engineering, construction and executive professional.