London jobs market falters as UK returns to pre-referendum patterns

Jake Cordell
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London hasn't quite been the bright spot of the UK jobs market since the EU referendum
London hasn't quite been the bright spot of the UK jobs market since the EU referendum (Source: Getty)

The London jobs market is still suffering in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the European Union, despite employment growing across the rest of the country, a new survey has revealed.

The monthly jobs monitor from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), out today, showed appointments of permanent staff in August dropped for the fourth consecutive month. Meanwhile, across the country the number of jobs grew for the first time in three months, as the shock of the UK's vote to leave fades.

On an index where scores below 50 signal a slowing pace of job creation, the REC score for the capital came in at 47.8. This was an increase from 40.5 in July as London firms struggled to deal with the fallout from the referendum.

However, job creation here is still taking longer to bounceback than across the rest of the country, where the index hit 51.5, up from 45.4 in July. The disparity between London and the rest of the UK could be the result of the capital's heavier exposure to the world economy and the fact many firms, particularly in the square mile, use London as their European headquarters.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC said that while some businesses "remained cautious about hiring following the Brexit vote ... there are signs that employers are starting to confirm hiring decisions that have previously been on hold or delayed."

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London was the only region in the UK where the rate of employment growth dipped over the summer, the REC found. Taking the capital out of the picture, the body noted: "The UK jobs market returned to pre-referendum patterns in August."

The figures also suggested firms were moving towards hiring temporary staff to deal with the uncertainty created by the EU referendum, even as the risks of a post-vote recession seem to be fading on the back of strong economic data.