Demand for staff continues to fall in July

The number of permanent staff appointments continued to fall during July, while the number of permanent vacancies fell at the slowest pace since August 2008, according to the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs survey.

The report showed that the index reading for the number of people placed in permanent positions in July was 46.1, on a scale where 50 indicates no change. In June, this figure was 48.6.

The report is a survey of 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies, and identified that actual demand for permanent staff, though falling, eased for the fifth month running in July.

Where pay is concerned, permanent staff salaries fell at the weakest rate for nine months to 44.5, compared to 41.8 in June. Hourly rates of pay for staff in temporary or contract employment fell to 42, compared to 40.9 in June – the slowest pace since October 2008.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, explained: “As the summer holidays begin in earnest, this month’s figures show a sharper drop in permanent jobs, as well as temporary jobs continuing to fall. Employers may be taking advantage of this traditionally quiet time of year to re-assess their recruitment needs.”

The findings revealed that around 17% of respondents signalled a drop in temporary work pay, compared with just under 3% that reported a rise.

The survey also found that average starting salaries for those placed into permanent jobs continued to fall in July, but at the slowest rate for nine months.

Hourly rates of pay for staff in temporary or contract work also fell, though the rate of decline eased to the weakest since last October.

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