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Job Market Growth 'hits 10 Month Low'

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Job appointments grew at their slowest rate in 10 months in August, raising further questions about the strength of the UK job market, a survey suggests.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (Rec) said both permanent and temporary placements rose at the weakest rate since October 2009.

Growth in pay also continued to slow, Rec said.

"Growth [in the UK's jobs market] is rapidly slowing as public sector job freezes start to bite," it added.

The body did, however, find that there were opportunities in some sectors, such as chefs, nurses, engineers and internet developers, where there were a shortage of skilled workers.

"A priority for government is to ramp up the support and guidance for job-seekers and to raise awareness of these growth areas within our labour market," said Rec's chief executive Kevin Green.

'Substantial cuts'

The latest figures show that the number of unemployed people in the UK fell by 49,000 in the three months to the end of June, to 2.46 million.

However, a number of analysts expect that number to rise in the coming months as a result of public sector job losses that will result from government spending cuts designed to reduce the country's budget deficit.

"Whereas demand for staff is growing in the private sector, many public sector organisations have started redundancy programmes," said Bernard Brown at KPMG, which produced the survey with Rec.

"In the months ahead we will see a substantial reduction in public sector headcount as the cuts begin to bite.

"The big question is whether the private sector can create new jobs in sufficient numbers and quickly enough to offset the downturn in the public sector."

Edited by exiges
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