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UK — Slight growth of permanent and temporary staffing appointments in August

09 September 2009

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs — published today — signalled marginal increases in both permanent and temporary/contract staff appointments during August. It is the first growth of permanent appointments for 17 months and the first increase in temporary billings since July 2008.

The rate of contraction of demand for staff eased further in August. The latest drop in overall vacancies was the weakest in just over a year.

Recruitment consultants reported another month of declining pay rates in August. However, the latest reductions in both permanent salaries and temporary/contract staff hourly wages were the slowest in 10 months.

Although the availability of candidates to fill job vacancies continued to rise strongly in August, the rates of improvement in both permanent and temporary/contract staff availability eased to the weakest for a year.

REC Chief Executive, Kevin Green says, “for the first time in 17 months, this month's report shows signs that the UK jobs market is improving. It seems that employers are becoming more confident in their hiring decisions with an increase in permanent recruitment and growth in temporary placements for the first time in over a year."

"The stabilisation in the jobs environment must not be put at risk by the introduction of ill-designed regulation like the Agency Workers Directive. This legislation needs careful consideration to avoid putting jobs at risk and must not be introduced until the last possible moment in 2011."

"Unemployment will continue into 2010 so we call on the Government, employers and recruitment businesses to work more effectively together to build on these green shoots and safeguard the recovery of the jobs market."

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG comments, "this is the first time we have seen really positive news for the UK jobs market in 17 months. However, it is too early to speculate whether this signals the end of the recession. One important factor to watch over the coming months will be how the public sector is coping with the financial and economic crisis."

"Given that employment costs are a substantial element of public sector spending, you would expect significant pressure on those costs going forward. This is likely to have a significant impact on the UK jobs market."



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