UK labour market freezes

By Hazel Davis

Election and Brexit have contributed to uncertain outlook, says report

Growth of demand for staff is at a 10-year low, according to the latest Report on Jobs from professional services network KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

According to the report, this decline has been driven by a muted rise in demand for permanent staff, while temp vacancies expanded at a slightly faster pace. This, says the report, has been down to clients delaying or cancelling hiring plans amid political uncertainty.

The report also found that people are reluctant to seek new roles and candidate numbers fell at the quickest rate for five months.

Neil Carberry, REC chief executive, says: “Today’s figures show exactly why this election needs to focus on work. The jobs market is still strong, but uncertainty is taking its toll. Permanent placements have now fallen for nine months in a row and vacancies growth is at its weakest for a decade. Any incoming government must move quickly to boost business confidence and implement policies that will help companies and individuals to make great work happen.”

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James Stewart, KPMG vice chair, adds: “As big business set out their strategies for the coming year, they will need to start making key decisions on hiring and investment.”

FURTHER READING: Employment figures reveal surprise slowdown in UK

FURTHER READING: UK economy in worst state since 2009 as Brexit uncertainty affects new orders

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