Recruitment Industry Revenues Still Suffering from the Downturn

The economy may be picking up but according to the annual recruitment industry report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the sector’s annual turnover in the UK fell to £19.7 bn during the period April 2009 to March 2010 compared to £22.49 bn in the previous year.

Other findings from the report show that:

  • Permanent placements decreased from 582,803 to 436,822, a fall of 25 per cent.
  • Total turnover for permanent staff also decreased from £2,6 billion to £1.9 billion, a drop of 27.6 per cent.
  • The largest number of temporary placements was once again in the industrial and blue collar sector which after last year’s peak of 33 per cent of the market fell back this year to 21 per cent. This was followed by secretarial/clerical at 13 per cent and drivers at 12 per cent. Bringing up the rear was accounting/financial which dropped from 20 per cent last year to just two per cent.
  • The largest sector for permanent placements was professional/managerial at 23 per cent, two points higher than last year followed by secretarial and clerical which has remained static at 14 per cent.
  • Staff employment in the recruitment industry fell from 95,867 in 2008/09 to 80,528. 

News from the latest edition of the ‘Plimsoll Industry Analysis’ that almost a quarter of UK recruiters are ending the year in financial difficulty underlines the message about the challenges they have been facing.

David Pattison, author of the new study of the top 1,000 UK recruitment companies, commented:

“Having clung on through the bad times, many of these struggling companies are running out of time and will fail unless a sustained recovery takes hold. On the flipside, their demise will bring a welcome reduction in competitive pressure for those left.”

“...With too many companies chasing weakened demand it is inevitable that there are likely to be a number of high profile mergers and takeovers. Further consolidation is needed to sort out the remaining dead wood.”

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