Belfast Telegraph

Recruitment report reveals slowdown in UK jobs market

Demand for staff has fallen back, with permanent and temporary placements increasing at the weakest rates in seven months, according to a new report today.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said growth of job vacancies moderated in May to a five-month low.

Recruitment consultants signalled a modest improvement in the availability of staff to fill job vacancies during May, but the rates of growth of both permanent and temporary candidate availability eased. Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said: "The latest data shows a worrying deceleration in the UK jobs market. Although the number of placements has continued to increase, the rate of expansion has hit a seven-month low.

"Private sector job creation has not hit the buffers but it is clearly slowing which heightens concerns over whether public sector job losses can be absorbed."

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, which helped compile the report, said: "The latest figures are worrying because they reveal a marked slowdown of the UK jobs market."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "The most recent figures show that there has been a 450,000 rise in private sector employment on the year, only partly offset by a 130,000 fall in the public sector."