Research from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has found that following a hiring slowdown, the UK has seen an increase in candidates looking for roles as last month the rate of people seeking jobs increased at its fastest rate in three and a half years.

The surge in candidates increased for a third month in a row which is said to have eased the rate of starting salary inflation to the lowest it has been in two years, while still remaining historically high.

The increase in the number of candidates follows a decline in permanent staff appointments as the permanent placing index, which measures how quickly firms are taking on full-time staff, dropped from 43.8, down from 44.2 in April, while temporary appointments rose.

Hiring activity continues to be dampened by economic uncertainty and delayed decision-making by firms who turn to part-time workers who can often be let go quickly, boosting the number of temporary hires.

“With UK businesses remaining cautious about allocating budgets and spending on permanent staff, many talented young people will be missing out on exciting opportunities to kickstart their careers,” said Sheila Flavell, COO of FDM Group. “This slowdown is happening at a time when tech companies are crying out for candidates with expertise in areas such as cyber, AI and analytics. Moving forward, UK PLC needs to do much more to attract and retain digital talent, getting more women into the industry and offering the necessary training and support to plug the skills gap.”

Claire Warnes, partner at KPMG added: “The jobs market remains subdued, with the latest survey results showing dampened hiring activity amid ongoing economic concerns.”

However, Warnes suggested that businesses eyeing expansion can feel “optimistic” given the “increasing pool of available candidates”.

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