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Industry Research : Hourly Contract Rates Decline in 2012 in UK
The rates paid for professional, clerical and IT temporary staff in the UK has fallen despite the signs of economic recovery and higher employment, according to the UK Office IQNdex. The measure of hourly rates paid by large enterprises to staffing agencies for these temporary roles has dipped 3.3 points from the same time last year according to figures published today by IQNavigator, a provider of external workforce and services procurement solutions to Global 2000 companies. The UK Office IQNdex also indicates that the anticipated upward pressure on rates resulting from the initial costs of implementing Agency Worker Regulations – mandating equivalent compensation and benefits for temporary and permanent staff – appears to have been short lived.
While it is clear that there are more professionals and clerical staff looking for work than there are jobs available, other factors that have restrained hourly rates include inflation that has trended downward from 4.2 per cent in December 2011 to 2.7 per cent in October 2012, along with limited pay increases.
The UK Office IQNdex shows that there were bright spots and certain job functions in the IT sector bucked the trend. IT Project Manager assignments experienced the highest increases with up to £4.73 per hour while Data Analysts and Systems Architects saw an increase of 6 per cent. However, help desk support hourly rates declined 10 per cent.
While the UK Office IQNdex shows an overall drop in rates over 2012, it is clear that part-time and temporary jobs are driving the increase in UK employment, making up 74 per cent of all new hires according to the Office of National Statistics’ Labour Market Report for the quarter ending September 2012.
"Continuing economic uncertainty makes employers less willing to commit to permanent hires," said John F. Martin, CEO of International Markets for IQNavigator. "As the economic climate improves, employers will likely shift more of their hiring toward permanent jobs but it also seems likely that increased reliance on part-time and temporary employees will be a more prominent component of the total workforce solution."
This change in hiring practices also figured prominently in the creation of new jobs in the US, where IQNavigator also publishes its US IQNdex. While agency temp assignments typically comprise about 2 per cent of US jobs, in the first half of 2012 new temporary positions accounted for 15 per cent of all net new US jobs. Also like the UK, the US experienced very stable temporary labour hourly rates for most of 2012.
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Published: Monday, December 3, 2012