KPMG and REC Report on Jobs February 2021

KPMG and REC have recently released February’s edition of the UK Report on Jobs: National. This report looks at both the positive and negative trends in recruitment for all sectors, including Social Care, and how this relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current situation

Please find below some of the key highlights from the report:

  • There has been a renewed drop in permanent placements amid reintroduction of lockdown measures
  • Uncertainty drives a further marked rise in temp billings
  • Total demand for staff declines solidly
  • Permanent Placement Index huge decline from 51.5 in December to 43.8 in January
  • Temporary Billings Index down slightly, but still remaining high, from 57.9 in December to 55 in January

Commenting on the latest survey results, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, said: “The latest national lockdown has knocked business confidence, evident by a renewed drop in permanent appointments as businesses put recruitment on hold. There has been an uptick in short-term vacancies, but these are mainly in blue collar and the medical response industry, indicating that they are filling a temporary need for staff rather than pointing to long-term job opportunities. However, there is cause for optimism as businesses carefully monitor the vaccine rollout and look forward to the Budget next month. It gives the Government the opportunity to further help the recovery in jobs and revive the UK’s productivity growth.”

Also commenting is Neil Carberry, CEO of the REC: “Economic uncertainty is weighing on employers’ minds even where they see potential for their own firm to grow, so it’s no surprise that temporary work is leading the jobs recovery. This emphasises again how important flexible forms of work are to helping businesses and public services react to the pandemic. Temporary work is also helping people get back into jobs more quickly after the recent spike in redundancy numbers. With the vaccination programme making progress, it’s likely that a path out of the pandemic is emerging. As that happens, we expect a strong recovery in permanent hiring.”

Andrew Brindley, Director of AJ Recruitment: “Although the latest report on jobs makes for grim reading for some sectors, this is not the case everywhere. The overall picture shows a rise in temporary demand and a decline in permanent requirements; however, this is not the case in the health and social care sector which saw an increase in both areas. When you delve further into the report you will see that the demand for front-line workers includes Carers, Health Care Assistants and Nurses. So, if the demand for these roles is there now at the economies lowest, what will this look like when it recovers. The Bank of England Governor Andrew Baily said last week that the UK economy is expected to “recover rapidly” in 2021.”

This report allows you to benchmark your business against the backdrop of the wider economy. I hope you find it useful to help you measure and understand where Social Care as a sector sits against the wider picture.


We want to let you know that we are here to support you, and if you would like to discuss the findings in the above report, or about how we can collaborate, please let us know. To get in touch, email

As a specialist, family run recruitment business, we provide a proactive and consultative approach to recruitment. We help organisations to target issues such as continuity of staffing, reducing spend where you have a high volume of agency usage and supporting those who have specific talent requirements or are in hard to fill locations. We can help with any immediate staffing requirements or longer-term recruitment projects to ultimately save you time and money on agency spend.

Click here to see what our clients say about how we have supported them throughout the pandemic.