It looks like the engineering and construction industries have started 2012 as they mean to go on, judging by recent statistics released from The Recruitment & Employment Confederation. The stats show that permanent placements have risen in January for the first time in four months, after three consecutive periods of decline at the end of 2011.
Engineering and construction remained the industries with the greatest demand for staff, in both permanent and temporary vacancies, with pay also slightly rising.
The growth in placements by recruitment consultants for permanent construction and engineering staff scored an index of 57.7, where 50 represents no change and anything over 50 represents growth. For temporary jobs in construction and engineering, the index was slightly higher at 58.
Overall, across all industries, there was a modest rise in permanent staff appointments for the first time in four months during January. The January reading across all jobs was 51.2, up from 48.5 in December.
It shows that there are glimmers of hope for the UK jobs market, particularly in engineering and construction, a real positive indicator that employers are looking to hire staff despite the challenging economic conditions.
This comes just a week after the PMI index for the construction sector indicated a growth in output, as well as new orders, and a renewed optimism for British construction firms.
There has been plenty in the news about the country going back into recession and although it is still a very real possibility, this shows that it is not a foregone conclusion and that employers are putting plans in place to try and avoid it.
I’ve already covered the industry’s outlook for 2012 in a recent blog but I really do firmly believe that growth is on the horizon. It’s about being positive, as a candidate, employee or employer.
Legacies are being left throughout the country as projects come to their conclusions, not least the London Olympic Games, and these projects are a great showcase for what can be achieved by being positive and proactive.
It’s great that construction firms are still so enthusiastic even when projects are being cancelled and costs are having to be cut. That’s the spirit that will hopefully keep the country out of recession and that positivity, reflected in the PMI index, is exactly why permanent and temporary placements are on the rise and the construction sector has started 2012 so well.