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Recent findings have shown that a combination of skills shortages and economic uncertainty is driving demand for contractors.

The APSCo report, using data provided by Bullhorn, also revealed that UK businesses are willing to pay higher rates to employ contractors.

Figures show a 3% month-on-month increase in contractor roles in October, and according to the report, the amount invested in attracting these individuals has inflated at a much higher rate than demand.

In October 2022 staffing firms reported a seven per cent increase in contract revenue when compared to September, while annual comparisons showed a 14% uptick in October.

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Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented on the findings, “The contract labour market has been heavily relied on as skills shortages remain rife. With talent in increasingly short supply since Brexit and Covid, temporary staff have been hugely valuable in filling gaps.

“However, what we’re also seeing is a further reliance on these individuals in an uncertain market where fewer businesses are confident in committing to permanent increases in headcount. The spike in contract sales revenue does show the level of fees contractors are able to command in such a skills short market.

“While we fully expect rates to increase in a cost-of-living crisis, the pre-Covid comparisons show a significant increase which is being driven by more than just the economic climate.”

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