Growth in UK jobs weakens as doubts over recovery hit

BRITAIN’S struggling job market continued to suffer in August with the number of permanent appointments rising at the slowest rate since October 2009, against a gloomy backdrop of public sector layoffs and downbeat business confidence.

The monthly survey conducted by professional services firm KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) showed that the number of people placed in new jobs by recruitment consultancies continued to increase in August, but growth slowed further from March’s peak.

Kevin Green, the REC’s chief executive, said: “We are concerned about the UK jobs market. Growth is rapidly slowing as public sector job freezes start to bite and private sector employers’ confidence remains fragile.

There was also evidence of weakening pay pressures in August with permanent staff salaries rising at the slowest rate for seven months, while temporary staff pay growth hit a five-month low.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said: “In the months ahead we will see a substantial reduction in public sector headcount. The big question is whether the private sector can create new jobs in sufficient numbers and quickly enough to offset the downturn in the public sector.”