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With threats of a recession set to hit by the end of the year, employers are relying heavily on contractors to keep their businesses going, finds a new report.

Findings from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), using data provided by Bullhorn, revealed that the number of contract roles in the UK grew 13% in July 2022 when compared to pre-pandemic figures (July 2019). In comparison, the number of permanent jobs dropped 23% within the same period.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented on the findings, “The data is painting a worrying picture for the UK’s permanent recruitment market at a time of continued instability.

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“We are still seeing the impact of the pandemic play out, but to see such significant spikes in contractor recruitment when comparing pre-pandemic levels with today, while permanent jobs decline, highlights that the country’s skills agenda is balancing on a knife’s edge.

“Companies are faced with no other choice but to turn to contractors to keep business as usual operations running, but for many, that’s not a sustainable approach. With average permanent salaries also dropping despite the cost-of-living crisis, our economic stability is at stake.

“While we await the decision around a new Prime Minister for the country, my hope is that the successful individual prioritises a solution to the UK’s skills crisis.”

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