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UK jobs market 'slipped during May'
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Temporary and contract staff appointments fell at the fastest rate since July 2009 during May, it has been reported.
The latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG found that growth of permanent placements also eased.
Recruitment consultancies signalled another modest rise in permanent staff placements, but the rate of growth was the weakest in the current five-month period of expansion.
The REC said that overall demand for staff rose at the slowest rate in four months during May, with weaker increases in vacancies signalled for both permanent and temporary workers.
Permanent staff salaries rose at the fastest rate for eight months in May, but the increase was still well below the long-run series average.
Some disparity was witnessed among the regions, with the Midlands proving to be the strongest jobs market performer during May.
By sector, demand for staff rose at the fastest rates in the IT and engineering/construction sectors, the report indicated.
Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, claimed that some employers are becoming more cautious about hiring.
"While there is still growth in permanent placements, the figures have been getting weaker over the last two months," he stated.
"Clearly the economic backdrop and the eurozone crisis are making some employers think twice before taking on new staff."
However, Mr Green noted that certain niche areas are seeing much stronger growth than the national average.
"In every month this year, the engineering and IT and computing sectors have seen solid increases in the number of workers recruited for permanent roles," he added.
"And compared to other parts of the country, employers in the Midlands are confident about hiring more temporary and permanent employees."
Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said the strong performance of the IT sector was "a pocket of good news".
"The Midlands remained the strongest performer in terms of permanent placements and IT, engineering and construction were in pole position when sector data was taken into consideration," he stated.
Posted by Stephen Wilkinson
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