Further Slowdown in Recruitment Growth

According to the latest Report on Jobs from the REC and KPMG, September saw the slowest increases in permanent staff placements and temporary billings since August 2009, together with weakest rise in job vacancies for almost two years.

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG commented:

“This latest data suggests that surely it’s only a matter of time now before we move from a growth position to one of a contracting jobs market.

“September saw rates of growth decline to the weakest for just over two years in both permanent and temporary appointments.

“And although there is still some slight growth, continuing a period of 26 consecutive month-on-month increases in appointments, the rate is slowing.

“The employment agencies surveyed reported that the slower expansion of placements was linked to a lack of confidence among clients over the economic outlook. These macroeconomic concerns and the general downward direction of the growth rate suggests that we could see it cross the line and move into decline in the near future.

“Looking at (specific) sectors, nursing/medical care and the hotel and catering sectors are already in decline, showing weaker demand in September than the previous month. The accounting/financial sector was virtually flat but the others showed some growth.”

The Report is based on a monthly survey of a panel of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.

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