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UK — The decline in temporary employment has eased

05 August 2009

A report published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG shows that permanent placements declined at a sharper rate in July 2009 but a smaller reduction in temporary and contract staff billings was recorded.

Although temporary/contract staff billings continued to fall in July, the rate of decline eased to the slowest in 10 months. The weaker decrease in short-term appointments mirrored a smaller reduction in vacancies for temporary workers.

Further rises in both permanent and temporary/contract staff availability were recorded in July. Rates of improvement remained elevated, despite easing to the slowest since last September.

Permanent staff salaries fell at the weakest rate for nine months in July, while hourly rates of pay for staff in temporary/contract employment decreased at the slowest pace since October 2008.

Tom Hadley, Director of External Relations for the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, says: “The employment landscape remains volatile at best but life is slowly returning to the temporary work market. The rate of contraction for temporary and contract work has eased to the slowest in 10 months and flexible working options will continue to provide a crucial outlet for both job-seekers and employers over the coming months. With the Government currently considering how best to implement new EU regulations on agency work, it will be vital to ensure that the new legislation does not negate this positive contribution and clog up this key route into work for thousands of workers.â€VbCrLf

“The fact that the decline in permanent staff appointments accelerated again in July following four months of relative stabilisation confirms that it is going to be a long and rocky road back for the overall UK jobs market. This latest 'relapse' echoes the ongoing feedback from recruiters on the ground where any upturn in demand for permanent staff one month is often followed by a dearth.â€VbCrLf

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG comments: “As the summer holidays begin in earnest, this month's figures show a sharper drop in permanent jobs, as well as temporary jobs continuing to fall. Employers may be taking advantage of this traditionally quiet time of year to re-assess their recruitment needs.â€VbCrLf

“Looking ahead to the second half of 2009, the sharp declines from the first quarter appear to be easing and a degree of confidence may return to the job market. While it's early days, and despite staff availability continuing to rise this month, the market may start to show slight signs of improvement by the end of the year.â€VbCrLf



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