Positive signs for jobs market as employers turn to temps to fill gaps

Experts believe there are tentative signs of recovery in the jobs market, despite job vacancies falling for the eleventh straight month.

Despite the latest Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and professional services firm KPMG  showing that demand for staff is continuing to decline at its fastest rate for more than a decade, a spokesman for REC told Personnel Today that there were some positive signs for employers.

“Previously, when recessions have bottomed out, cautious employers would bring on temporary staff as they began plans to move forward, and that’s what we’re beginning to see,” he said.

“We have to be cautious, of course, but our members are starting to see a slight pick-up on the temporary staff side as employers who have slimmed down [permanent] staff look to the interim market to fill some needs.”

The index reading for contract vacancies fell by just 0.1, the smallest drop in 12 months. The decline in temporary hires in secretarial, blue collar, hotel and catering also slowed.

Meanwhile, separate research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) comparing Labour Market Outlook surveys in the UK with similar statistics from the US indicated the worst of the current jobs cull could be over by Easter.

Gerwyn Davies, CIPD public policy adviser, said the UK was mirroring moves across the Atlantic, including swathes of job cuts in manufacturing and private sector services. However, he added that the number of employers making redundancies reduce over the next three months.

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