Hiring growth slows on rising fears for state of UK economy

Tim Wallace
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NEW WORRIES about the strength of the economy have made employers more cautious, according to recruitment figures published today.

Permanent and temporary vacancies growth fell to a seven-month low while pay growth remained modest, the KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) stats show.

The placements index fell from 52.7 in February to 50.8 in March. A score above 50 represents growth.

But some industries are accelerating – IT and computing staff are now the most in demand, with an index reading of 58.4 up from 57.2 a year ago.

“Recruiters report businesses are struggling to find people with the right skills and experience as candidate availability declines,” said REC chief Kevin Green.

“It is a worrying trend that is particularly problematic across IT and engineering. Persistent skills shortages in these areas could have a disastrous impact on critical infrastructure projects, especially if employers can’t find the talent they need to jump-start new ventures in energy, transport and construction.”