in Careers Advice, Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report June 2019

Each month we run a comparison between the last calendar month and the same time period in 2018 to see if there has been any noticeable difference in view of the extreme political uncertainty. In April we saw a 50% decrease in the number of new permanent vacancies compared with the previous year. How was May?

In May 2019 we saw a decrease of 42% in new permanent vacancies compared with May 2018. We also saw a 44% decrease in locum roles for the same time period. The locum market has quite literally picked up in the last few days, but before this it was very quiet indeed. Hopefully the upturn will buck the trend that has been evident since the start of the year. There has been a 19& increase in the number of candidates registering in May 2019 compared with May 2018, which is a slower increase than April, when there was over 100% increase in the number of new candidate registrations.

A new trend is emerging for locum registrations. I would like to think that our Interim Lawyers platform has become very popular in recent weeks, hence the large increase in the numbers of locums registering. A number of the new locums are new to locuming and only time will tell if these are locums looking for a change of lifestyle or salaried staff finding work levels have dropped and seeking locum work to tide them over until they find a new permanent post.

Statistics

General Statistics for May 2019 (comparison is with May 2018)
Current live vacancies: 994
New permanent vacancies added: 29 (50)
New locum vacancies added: 15 (27)
New candidates registering: 82 (69)

May 2019 – Live Jobs (comparison with May 2018 in brackets):
London vacancies: 177 (175) (+1%)
South East: 447 (447)
South West: 90 (90)
Midlands: 68 (67) (+1.5%)
North West: 106 (106)
North East: 74 (75) (-1%)
Wales: 30 (30)

We have 46 law firms for sale at the moment.

KPMG and REC Report on Jobs

The KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies (including the Ten Percent Group).

Key Findings
Permanent staff appointments fall slightly, but temp billings rise
Staff vacancies rise at the slowest rate since August 2012
Candidate shortages continue to push up starting pay

KPMG Comment: “This report shows how the UK jobs market has seized up, with both employers and candidates waiting to see which direction Brexit is going to go in. For now, this smothers the prospects for growth and makes it a lot harder for companies looking to innovate.
Overall employers have hired fewer permanent staff in three of the past four months and most of the firms we’re speaking to say that uncertainty around Brexit is to blame. A subdued public sector is also contributing to the wider picture. On the supply side, a high rate of employment and the apprehension of potential candidates means there just aren’t a lot of suitably skilled people out there to hire anyway.”

REC Comment: “Employers are turning to temporary work to support their business and offer people opportunity while the long-term economic picture is unclear. We should be proud of how our jobs market has adapted to challenging circumstances. Resolving Brexit will bring some certainty, but we must also take bold steps to fix the underlying problems suggested by these figures.”

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk