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Although vacancy numbers saw a dip month-on-month in December, the year still ended on a high with the annual discrepancy in job numbers closing.

The latest Recruitment Trends Snapshot report from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) using data provided by cube19, revealed a 27% and 20% month-on-month decline in permanent and contract vacancies respectively in December. However, this drop can be attributed to an expected seasonal dip as a result of the Christmas holidays.

Year-on-year, permanent vacancies were down 22%, while contract roles dropped just 1% for December 2020 when compared to 2019 figures

In comparison, the yearly discrepancy in vacancies for permanent roles stood at 32% in November and 16.2% for contract, signalling a 10% and 15.2% improvement respectively in December.

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Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented, “With the holiday period usually much quieter for hiring, it comes as no surprise that vacancies were down in December overall, however the data shows some incredibly promising signs. The year-on-year comparisons are the greatest indicator of the impact that the on-going pandemic is having on recruitment and these figures are rather promising for the end of 2020. The improvements we can see in the daily tracker data for the first half of December paint a positive picture for the beginning of 2021, suggesting that we are on the path to recovery – though it may be a long one with the UK once again moving into a national lockdown.”

Joe McGuire, Global Sales Director of cube19, added, “A reduction in volume over the holiday period is always expected but it is pleasing to see new contract placements/sales not following the usual Christmas dip. Additionally, perm year over year was at the same level seen in 2019 which is particularly encouraging. There is still some way to go but with the vaccine roll out there seems to be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

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