REC: “modest” rise in demand for staff, uncertainty prevails

REC: “modest” rise in demand for staff, uncertainty prevails

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October saw a “modest” rise in the demand for staff across the UK, new data revealed on Friday.

The UK Report on Jobs data, by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), shows that the rate of vacancy growth was the slowest to occur since January 2012.

Demand for both permanent and short-term workers were weak.

The data revealed that an uncertain outlook also weighed on candidate availability during the month of October. Indeed, total candidate numbers dropped at the sharpest rate in four months.

“These figures underline why this needs to be a jobs election,” Neil Carberry, Recruitment and Employment Confederation Chief Executive, commented on the data.

“The labour market is strong, but permanent placements have now dropped for eight months in a row, and vacancies growth has fallen to its lowest level since January 2012. One bright spark is the temporary labour market, which continues to provide flexible work to people and businesses that need it during troubled times,” Neil Carberry continued.

Neil Carberry said: “Ending political uncertainty and getting companies hiring again is vital – but we must also look to the long term future of work. Jobs must be front and centre during this election campaign, and we will be launching our REC manifesto for work next week. We will be urging all political parties to run on policies which support and enhance the UK’s flexible labour market – allowing businesses to create jobs, employees to build careers and the economy to grow.”

The UK was supposed to depart from the European Union at the end of October, but it was granted yet another extension to the deadline.

Parties are now preparing for the general election at the end of this year.

“Businesses are still waiting to hear that starting gun, and until there is some certainty around Brexit and now the election, employers continue to stall on creating vacancies and making permanent hires,” James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, also commented on the data.

James Stewart said: “The IT and computing sector threw caution to the wind last month as the best performer in vacancy growth. Meanwhile, the medical sector is not far behind, and we also saw a sharp increase in the demand for temp staff in this sector.”

News emerged only yesterday that the Bank of England expects a weaker economy over the next three years following the nation’s departure from the European Union.

With Brexit uncertainty prevailing, what will the future hold for employers and their staff?