According to the latest data from the Report on Jobs, produced by Markit and published by KPMG and the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation), growth in demand for permanent staff accelerated, while the need for temporary workers slowed down in September this year.
The index for permanent construction professionals rose from 61.9 in August to 64.7 in September and was above the average for all types of permanent staff (62.0). Construction was ranked third out of nine in the demand for staff ‘league table’.
Down from 57.5 in August to 56.5 in September, the index monitoring temporary construction vacancies was in eighth place out of the nine monitored sectors, ahead of only Executive/Professional. In addition, the reading was below the UK average of 58.9.
Head of infrastructure, building and construction, Richard Threlfall, said: “This latest data confirms the unrelenting pressure on the UK construction industry from both shortage and cost of labour. Over the last year construction has moved up the ranking to become the third highest sector in terms of demand for permanent staff, and this month’s report highlights critical shortages in construction estimators and temporary construction workers.
“Also notable is the continuing wage pressure with weekly earnings in the year to July jumping by 4%, significantly more than the 3.4% average for private sector wages and the 2.9% average for wage growth overall.
He continued: “Last week’s ONS stats suggested a drop in construction output, but we need to be really careful about drawing conclusions from month on month movements, especially for August which is inevitably a quieter month than July. The critical indicator is the year-on-year growth which for new work was over 3%.
“This latest jobs data is a more reliable bellwether of the real position of the industry: high demand; supply-constrained; cost-squeezed. It is good times for those who have invested in their workforce, hold their loyalty and can bring an experienced team to site; it is purgatory for those who are spending all their time scrambling about in the jobs market,” Mr Threlfall concluded.