UK recruitment industry grows by 25%

02/12/2011

UK recruitment industry grows by 25%

The Medium Term Forecast is for single digit growth over the next four years with the industry expected to peak at over £30 billion in 2014/15.

The increase in the annual turnover to £24.6 billion, an increase of 25.3 per cent, compares to £19.7 billion in the same period the financial year 2009/2010. More recent data from agencies confirms that the growth has decelerated- reflecting ongoing economic uncertainty. However, the results of the REC's Annual Industry Trends Survey indicate the industry has an innate ability to come back stronger from the current difficult economic conditions.

The survey also found that:

  • Turnover in temporary/contract staffing has returned to 2006/2007 levels at £22 billion compared to its low point last year of £17.8 billion, a rise of 24.1 per cent.
  • Permanent recruitment also rallied to reach £2.5 billion in the past year, a massive 37 per cent increase on £1.8 billion recorded in 2009/10.
  • Volumes of perms placements rose by 38.3 per cent from 436,822 last year to 604,193 in 2010/11 while temp placements were up 19.3 per cent and top the million mark again at 1,049, 333 compared to 879, 000 last year.
  • The number of people working in recruitment has gone up 13.1 per cent from 80,528 last year to 91,114 this year.

Commenting on the data, Kevin Green, the REC's Chief Executive, said:

"These results once again demonstrate the resilience of the UK recruitment industry. The 25 per cent swing over the past year means the industry has reclaimed much of the ground lost during the recession. The upsurge of temporary assignments to more than a million again underlines the value of flexible working patterns for both employers and jobseekers.

"The market remains tough for our members as the growth in sales has been accompanied by increased pressure on margins. Despite the inevitable focus on cost control, it is crucial for UK businesses to recognise the importance of sustainability of supply and quality of provision. This is a message the REC will continue to take forward in our dialogue with employers and business organisations."