Hiring activity weakens in September ahead of Brexit deadline 

Recent data produced by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) shows a decrease in permanent staff appointments for the seventh month in a row, with overall vacancies increasing at the weakest rate since January 2012. The UK Report on Jobs data demonstrated that an increasing political and economic certainty surrounding Brexit is continuing to weigh on hiring activity in the UK. 

The supply of permanent and temporary candidates continued to decline in September, which was linked to a hesitation in seeking new jobs. This drop in candidates has caused increased pressure on pay rates, leading to starting salaries rising at an accelerated pace. According to the report, the strongest increases in permanent staff vacancies were seen in IT & Computing and Hotel & Catering. In contrast, construction and Retail were the only monitored sectors to report reduced demand for permanent workers.  The highest demand for temporary staff was seen in Nursing and Medical Care, with retail continuing to show the deepest decline in short-term vacancies.  Speaking of the survey results, REC Chief Executive, Neil Carberry said: “Businesses are positive about their own prospects, but ongoing Brexit uncertainty has led many firms to delay projects and hiring decisions,” “Vacancy growth has fallen to its lowest since 2012. The UK’s vibrant temporary work market is playing an important role in helping employers to manage the ongoing uncertainty and job-seekers to find work,” Mr Carberry added.

It is proposed that employers are looking for clarification on the direction of Brexit before making any decisions on hiring. Vice Chair at KPMG, James Stewart said: “It would seem that it’s providing difficult for businesses to shake off the heightened uncertainty and unknowns.” For more information regarding recruitment industry trends and data, visit: https://www.rec.uk.com/news-and-policy.

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