Construction firms are relying on financial incentives as job applicant numbers tumble.
Skills shortages and the cost-of-living crisis have driven salaries up across construction, despite the demand for staff beginning to slow. That’s according to the latest report from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
The data, provided by the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, revealed that despite vacancies dropping 6% between January and October 2022, the number of applicants per vacancy has fallen at a far greater pace, down 44% for the same period.
While this is indicative of an ongoing skills shortage across the sector, the report suggests that the cost-of-living crisis and a general reluctance to move roles during economic uncertainty could also be impacting application numbers, with salary inflation being used to lure recruits.
According to the analysis, average pay across construction increased 4% between January and October, with salaries increasing 1% between September and October when signs of economic instability began to show.
Ann Swain, Global CEO of APSCo commented: “While the construction sector has been on a roller coaster ride in terms of jobs throughout 2022, it is the sustained fall in application numbers that presents the greatest challenge to recruiters across the sector. This latest data does show that the economic uncertainty since the beginning of September has hampered hiring, something we don’t expect to see a reverse in the immediate future.”
“It’s crucial that the government enacts policies that will bring stability for workers, including announcing the long-awaited Employment Bill and revising policies to better recognise and support the unique needs of the highly skilled contractor labour market.”