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UK — Temporary billings increased at slowest rate in seven months

07 July 2010

The latest monthly Report on Jobs published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and professional services group KPMG reveals that recruitment consultancies recorded another strong rise in permanent staff placements during June, albeit the slowest in five months. Higher placements were underpinned by a further improvement in demand for permanent staff.

Although still solid, growth of temporary/contract staff billings eased to a seven-month low in June. The rate of increase remained below that signalled for permanent appointments.

Higher levels of availability were recorded for both permanent and temporary/contract staff in June. However, the rates of improvement differed, with the former registering only a marginal rise whilst the latter posted solid growth that was the sharpest in three months.

Higher rates of pay for both permanent and temporary/contract staff were signalled by recruitment consultants in June. However, the increases remained below the respective averages for the series since data were first available in October 1997.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said "demand for permanent staff continues to grow. This is an encouraging sign that the jobs market is stable and, in some sectors such as construction and engineering, rapidly growing. However, with the predictions of up to 600,000 job losses in the public sector, it is still too early to tell how much of a knock-on effect this will have on job creation in the private sector."

"Our main concern is how the near million young jobseekers are going to get their first role in a highly competitive jobs market. This problem can only escalate due to the thousands of graduates and school-leavers who will be seeking employment in the coming months. Youth unemployment is one of the most pressing issues we currently face in the UK and needs to be urgently addressed. Our Youth Employment Taskforce has been looking at how Government, business and educationalists can come together to provide practical solutions to the problem and prevent a 'lost generation' of workers."

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG comments, "demand for workers across all sectors continued to rise in June. Clearly, the proposed public sector cuts have not yet had an impact on the UK jobs market."

"However, it can now be only a matter of time before we will start to see the impact of the government's efficiency savings strategy which is likely to leave hundreds of thousands of public sector workers looking for employment. The big challenge will be to transfer as many of these jobs as possible to the private sector through outsourcing and divestment, otherwise the economy will be put under enormous pressure at all levels."



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