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Recruitment industry contributes £43bn to UK economy

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Sector plays a crucial role in financial recovery in UK

According to The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s latest Recruitment Industry Status report,  recruitment and staffing, as an industry, contributed £42.9 billion of direct Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy last year. This is an increase of 21.7% compared to the previous year (2020) and a rise in pre-pandemic levels.

The results indicate the important role that recruitment and staffing firms have played in driving the recovery for firms and workers. The report revealed that 22.4 million temporary or contract placements and 540,000 permanent placements were made in 2021.

Other findings include that the recruitment sector and its related industries employed over 200,000 people in more than 30,000 businesses (+6.5%)

The RISR report uses its data to forecast the outlook for the industry for the rest of the year and beyond. According to this forecast, the number of staff employed in recruitment activities is likely to grow by 6.9% in 2022 compared to 2021. We can expect roughly 6% growth after 2022

Similarly, client volumes are set to grow by 14.3%, and fees are also set to increase by 7.4% compared to 2021. By 2025 the recruitment sector is set to contribute more than £51.3 billion by 2025.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive at the REC commented: “The robust recovery that recruitment and staffing has enjoyed since the pandemic has been driven by meeting client and candidate needs. With an unpredictable economic outlook, and severe shortages of labour, it has never been more important for businesses to work with recruiters who are able to offer the advice they need to shape a winning offer.”

“In addition to the almost £43 billion of direct value added to the economy, getting the ‘people stuff’ right helps employers to unlock additional productivity and growth, as the REC’s work has shown. Looking forward, recruiters with the right product mix, ability to supply good candidates well, and advisory capacity can expect to have a positive year in 2023.”


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