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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Employee demand falling at a record pace

A report published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG showed a sizable weakening in the labour market and the demand for employees.

According to the press release that accompanied the report...

...For the third consecutive month, recruitment consultants reported declines in permanent and temporary staff pay during December. Anecdotal evidence suggested that rapidly rising levels of staff availability had diluted candidates’ bargaining power.

Reflective of recent redundancies and fewer job opportunities, the availability of staff to fill vacancies continued to rise substantially in December. The latest improvements in permanent and temporary staff availability were the strongest since the inception of the survey in October 1997.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC, said:“These figures are deeply worrying and show that the contraction in the labour market is now rapidly accelerating. The decline in both permanent and temporary appointments in December is the sharpest recorded since the survey began in 1997.

“At a time when the Government is proposing job creation measures, the REC will be seeking urgent meetings with the Government about its proposed removal of the VAT concession in April. This change could help retain 150,000 temporary jobs at a time when we should all be working together to create employment opportunities, not taxing them out of existence."

Mike Stevens, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, added: “These latest figures only serve to confirm the most pessimistic projections for the UK jobs market. They are also a lead indicator for a rapidly declining employment situation which is not yet reflected in the government's current employment statistics. One reason for this is that employment legislation – enacted since the last recession – tends to defer the incidence of job losses pending completion of consultation periods."

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posted by Carl Malways at

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