Recruitment falls as recession fears rise

Fears about a global recession have caused employers to hire significantly fewer staff in January, figures from the latest European Monster Employment Index have revealed.

Online recruitment fell across the EU against December figures by 16 points to a level of 139, indicating that employers have become more cautious in hiring in the face of a global economic downturn.

However, Monster points out that about half of the fall in January can be attributed to a seasonal slowdown, as recruitment generally eases around the end of the year.

The index – a monthly analysis of online EU recruitment trends based on millions of employer job opportunities – showed healthcare and social work took the brunt in Germany, management and consulting in Sweden, and banking, finance and insurance in the UK.

The Netherlands and Sweden saw the biggest declines overall (17 points), and year-on-year the index grew by 14% – the slowest annual growth rate in five months.

Andrea Bertone, regional director at Monster, said: “It is possible that employers have become more cautious in their hiring plans in the face of a global economic downturn. However, it should be noted that online job availability remains well above levels from this time last year, reflecting historically low unemployment rates across Europe.”

Country focus

  • UK: Online hiring dropped considerably following two months of solid growth due to falls in job availability in the banking, finance, insurance and legal sectors. However, the index is up 32% year-on-year.
  • France: Online recruitment fell due to a steep decline in management and consulting, and sales opportunities. The index was 15% up year-on-year.
  • The Netherlands: There was a sharp fall in online recruitment due to strong declines in demand for staff in hospitality and tourism, and banking, finance and insurance sectors. Year-on-year, the index is up 10%.
  • Germany: Online recruitment declined due to a sharp seasonal slowdown. Year-on-year growth was 7%.
  • Sweden: Online hiring activity declined sharply, although the index was up 38% from January last year.

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