Jobs: Clear evidence of a slowdown coming

JOB creation in the private sector slowed down markedly in September as employers got jittery about the economy, a new report has found.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs draws on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said: “Employers are being very cautious about hiring at the moment. This has been exacerbated by weak consumer confidence which leads to people staying in their current role rather than changing jobs.

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“The private sector is still producing new jobs but not in the quantity needed to offset the job losses in the public sector. These factors combined have resulted in the slowest increases in both permanent and temporary billings since August 2009. It’s vital that we look at ways to boost these numbers, particularly for young people who continue to be disproportionately affected by unemployment.

“To combat this, the REC is urging the Chancellor to introduce a National Insurance holiday for at least a year to encourage SMEs to take on young people.

“This is becoming even more critical because employers can no longer force older workers to retire at 65. While it is important that mature workers can continue to contribute to the workforce, it means even fewer roles will be available to younger candidates so efforts must be made to incentivise businesses to create jobs.”

Bernard Brown, partner and head of Business Services at KPMG added: “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.

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“Looking at 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.”

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