War worries dampen tight jobs market

Growth in demand for staff slowed for the third successive month in
February, following increasing concerns over a possible war against Iraq.

A study by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and Deloitte & Touche
reveals that growth of permanent placements was almost negligible last month.

The monthly Report on Jobs also finds that temporary billings increased at
their slowest rate since February 2002.

Brett Walsh, head of human capital at Deloitte & Touche, said the
findings reflect increasing concerns among employers about the possible impact
of a war against Iraq.

"February’s Report on Jobs survey provides evidence that the current
uncertain geo-political situation is having an increasingly adverse affect on
the UK labour market," he said.

"Although we are seeing few signs of large-scale redundancies employers
are clearly reluctant to take on new staff or replace leavers," Walsh

The report also cites figures by the CIPS/Reuters Employment Index which
reveal that over all private sector staffing levels fell for the 21st
consecutive month and the rate of job shedding has accelerated to levels last
seen in January 2002.


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