This week’s ONS report shows that the number of temporary employees in the UK increased to a total of approximately 1.68 million for the three-month period from September 2021 through November 2021. That has risen by 9.32% on a seasonally adjusted basis when compared to the same period a year ago.

However, while the number of temporary workers increased year on year – as would be expected based on the pandemic impacts during same period last year – the number of temporary employees remained comparatively flat when when compared to the previous three-month period ended October 2021.

This was due to organisations planning ahead in response to the labour shortage and bringing their recruitment plans forward to meet the increased demands of the festive period – something which we at Gi Group had recommended when the labour shortage started. It also echoes the actions of consumers who, owing to warnings of supply chain issues, started buying earlier in the run-up to Christmas.

These statistics then, highlight the fundamental role temporary employees have played in boosting the UK economy at a critical time. As Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said, “It’s clear that temporary and part-time work is playing a key role as people find new roles in different sectors as the economy changes rapidly. More short-term and part-time roles may also reflect greater flexibility from firms as they struggle to hire in this market.”

It is also encouraging to see that of the 1.68 million temporary workers, a large proportion (956,972) are women, suggesting that the enhanced flexibility around working hours is tapping into a new demographic of workers and removing barriers that were previously there.

However, while there is a lot to be positive about, this shift needs to be mirrored for permanent positions – breaking down barriers for under-represented groups or groups that are also looking for greater flexibility in their role.

While the growth in the number of vacancies appears to be slowing, it is still growing and organisations should retain focus on how they attract, develop and retain both temporary and permanent employees.


About Gi Group

Gi Group is one of the world’s leading companies that provide the best services for the development of the labour market. Gi Group is active in the fields of temporary recruitment, permanent and professional staffing, search and selection, executive search, outsourcing, training, outplacement and HR consultancy. Thanks to our direct presence and strategic partnerships in the UK and in more than 57 countries across Europe, APAC, the Americas and Africa, we can guarantee efficiency and quick response.

We are able to assist all clients and candidates, and we have developed strong expertise in large and multinational organisations, for which we have implemented global solutions through specialist divisions and dedicated local and international teams. Gi group are ranked globally as one of the largest staffing firms by Staffing Industry Analysts, and we are also a global corporate member of the World Employment Confederation (formerly CIETT).

If you are currently looking to recruit or want to learn more about Gi Group’s Workforce Solutions, please email