The UK faces the risk of a “double
dip” in employment, recruitment
companies have warned in a report
Recruitment of both
permanent and temporary staff continued
to grow last month but at a slower rate,
according to a survey of 400 agencies by
the Recruitment and Employment
Confederation and the Big 4 accounting
Further easing in growth of staff
appointments... Permanent staff
placements and temporary/contract staff billings both rose at weaker rates in
September. The latest increase in permanent appointments was the slowest for a
year, while growth of temp billings eased to an eleven-month low.
...as vacancies rose at slower rate: Overall demand for staff increased again in
September, but the rate of growth was the weakest since October 2009. Slower
rises in both permanent and temporary vacancies were recorded.
Weaker trend in staff pay...Although
permanent staff salaries continued to rise in September, the rate of inflation
eased to a ten-month low. Temporary/contract staff hourly pay decreased
marginally for the first time in nine months.
...as candidate availability showed signs of improvement: September data signalled a reduction in
the availability of permanent staff for the fourth time in the past five months.
However, the latest fall was only slight. The availability of temporary/contract
staff rose at the fastest pace for three months.
Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment
"September’s Report on Jobs shows that the jobs market is starting to flatline
and may herald a ‘double dip’ in employment. Whilst there is marginal growth,
these figures are the worst we have seen for a year. The Government must do
everything possible to avert the threat of increasing unemployment. This must
include avoiding new regulation that could restrict businesses and jobs growth.
How the Government decides to implement the Agency Workers Regulations will be
its first major test in cutting red tape on business.
"Recent party conferences have underlined plans for welfare
and benefits reform but this will take years to implement. Immediate priorities
for Government must focus on encouraging private sector employers with
incentives to take on staff and radically improving the support being offered to
specific groups of jobseekers, such as those under 25. Tapping into the existing
expertise of the private sector recruitment industry is a cost effective way in
which the Government could start to make real headway in this area."
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG
added: "September has seen a
further slowdown of the UK jobs market with permanent job appointments rising at
the weakest rate for a year. As in previous months engineering, construction and
executive staff have been most in demand, an indication of the continuing
recovery in the private and manufacturing sector. This is in sharp contrast to
the situation in the public sector where many organisations have started
redundancy programmes or have at least imposed hiring freezes. For example, the
sharp decline in the demand for healthcare professionals comes as a direct
result of government cutbacks and efforts to reform the NHS and may be only a
sign of things to come."
The report features original research data from Markit, collected via
questionnaire from a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.
Ambition, a finance industry recruiter, said vacancies in the London banking
and finance sector had reached levels not seen since 2007. It said vacancies
available to City workers were now 260% above those at the bottom of the jobs
market in the first quarter of 2009. The growth was driven by fixed income and
foreign exchange markets.