KPMG and REC Report on Jobs October 2021

KPMG and REC have recently released October’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 current climate.

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

  • Hiring activity rises sharply again amid robust demand for staff
  • Unprecedented increases in starting pay for perm and temp workers…
  • … as candidate supply falls at a near-record pace
  • Permanent Placement Index remains high from 72.7 in August to 71.8 in September
  • Temporary Billings Index declines slightly from 67.7 in August to 61.1 in June

Commenting on the latest survey results, Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG: “This month’s unprecedented increase in starting salaries – the highest in 24 years – is being driven by the near record fall in candidate availability. While higher salaries are good for job seekers, wage growth alone is unlikely to help sustain economic recovery because of limited levers to bring people with the right skills to where the jobs are and increase productivity. The sharp rise in hiring activity is a reason to be hopeful, but competition is fierce. The end of the furlough scheme should be bringing tens of thousands of new people to the jobs market, but many do not have the right skills to transfer to the sectors with most demand. Reskilling and supporting people to move jobs which are in demand needs to be speeded up. Otherwise we may see these clear tensions in the labour market turning into a workforce crisis in many sectors.”

Also commenting is Neil Carberry, Chief Exec of the REC: “Demand for workers continued to grow last month, while staff availability fell at a near record pace. Competition for staff has led to the fastest growth in starting salaries since this survey began. But we have all seen how labour shortages have affected our everyday lives over the past few weeks, whether that’s an empty petrol station or fewer goods on supermarket shelves. The scale of the shortages we are seeing cannot be explained by one factor alone, but are a major challenge to businesses’ ability to drive the prosperity of the UK in the months and years to come – supporting families and paying the taxes that fund public services. While the current crises will pass, rising input costs and further tax rises would only mean higher prices and lower investment in the medium term. It is essential that government works in partnership with business to deliver sustainable growth and rising wages, rather than a crisis-driven sugar rush. That includes working on policies that encourage business investment, an international outlook and skills development, especially at Levels 1 and 2 where shortages are most acute – this will also help unemployed young people get into work.”

Andrew Brindley, Director of AJ Recruitment, said: “The expected rush of redundancies just didn’t happen in September, and in the months July to August those in employment rose to 32.2 million and unemployment dropped by 126,000. We can see from the latest report on jobs this is really impacting our sector as we have one of the highest demands for workers in temporary and permanent roles. We have also heard this from the organisations we partner with. Next heading down the track is the compulsory vaccine legislation, which is expected to drive 40,000-70,000 people out of the sector on top of an already candidate short market. Now might be the time to be relooking at your recruitment plan and to see how you are going to meet this new challenge as we head into the difficult winter months. “The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.5%, compared with a rate of 4% before the pandemic. The ONS said the number of employees on payrolls showed another monthly increase, rising 207,000 to a record 29.2 million in September.” – Source BBC News”

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.


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 or call us on 03305 552233.

As a specialist, family-run recruitment business, we provide a proactive and consultative approach to recruitment within Social Care. 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.

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