Jobs growth in September slowed to the lowest levels since 2009, according to the latest Report on Jobs survey published this week by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.
According to the report, permanent and temporary appointments grew at their slowest rate since August 2009, and while the report identified job growth in the private sector, this was not enough to offset the large-scale job losses in the public sector.
The findings highlight the impact on the jobs market of continuing economic uncertainty, and REC chief executive Kevin Green 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. The private sector is still producing new jobs but not in the quantity needed to offset the job losses in the public sector. 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 as from last Saturday, 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.