Labour Market Slowdown Continues

Posted on Jun 10, 2024. by NTI

KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (“REC”) have compiled their latest Report on Jobs survey, and have stated that the labour market continued its recent slowdown in May. Permanent staff appointments fell for the 20th month in a row, due to a shortage of vacancies and slow decision-making from companies.

The fall in permanent appointments was the smallest in over a year, however. There was a slight drop in the number of temporary job appointments.

The survey, which covers 400 recruitment firms, showed that a growing number of people searching for permanent jobs led to a recent high of staff availability; the highest since December 2020. This is said to be due to a mixture of reduced staff demand, increased redundancies and increased unemployment.

The labour market also saw regional variations, with a sharp decline in permanent appointments in the South, but a small increase in the Midlands. The impact of April’s increases in the national minimum wage and the living wage fed through to salaries, and pay has continued to rise.

Unemployment remains at a historical low of 4.3%, according to the ONS. People are said to be slowly recovering from the ‘cozzyliv’ (Cost of Living Crisis) with pay growth reportedly currently at 6% for the past year.

Chief Executive of the REC, Neil Carberry, said “The jobs market looks like it’s on its way back, with clear improvements over last month on most key measures, especially in the north and Midlands. There is potential energy stored in the economy, as employers are feeling more confident. Political certainty and falling interest rates should add to lower inflation and help this to turn into movement over the course of the rest of the year.”

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