Permanent staff availability across the North of England continued to rise sharply during July with the rate of expansion among the quickest since data collection began in October 1997, despite easing from June’s eleven-and-a-half year record.
Recruiters often associated the increase in labour supply with coronavirus-related redundancies.
The availability of permanent candidates at the UK level also rose further in July, extending the current sequence of expansion to four months.
Moreover, the latest increase was the quickest since December 2008.
Across the English regions there was a recorded upturn in availability in July, the fastest of which was seen in the Midlands. London registered the slowest rise.
The data, published in the latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey pointed to anecdotal evidence suggesting that employers were continuing to focus on cost cutting rather than making new hires.
The July data also pointed to another reduction in permanent starting salaries across the North, extending the current sequence to four months. Moreover, the latest decline was the quickest since the global financial crisis.
Euan West, senior partner, KPMG’s Leeds office, said that there was a long way to go to solving the labour crisis.
He said: “With hiring plans remaining on ice and the uncertain outlook – compounded in part by concerns around a possible second wave of the virus and the reintroduction of lockdown measures across parts of the North - still weighing heavily on business’ recruitment decisions.
"As the furlough scheme unwinds, unemployment is likely to rise further, proving both an opportunity and challenge for government to create training and skills programmes for jobseekers – and help bring confidence back to our regional workforce.”