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Labour market deteriorates further but slower pace fuels hope of recovery

THE labour market continued to deteriorate in May, but the pace of decline slowed for a third month and experts said there are signs of recovery.<br /><br />Permanent placements fell for the fourteenth consecutive month, but at the slowest pace since last July, while temporary billings declined at the weakest rate since September.<br /><br />But the monthly Report on Jobs, produced by Markit Economics, showed that candidate availability continued to rise strongly, leaving the negotiating power firmly in the hands of employers. As a consequence, the average salary awarded to candidates placed in permanent jobs continued to fall sharply &ndash; if at a slower pace &ndash; and hourly rates for temporary work also dropped further.<br /><br />Management consultant KPMG, which commissioned the report along with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said there was now &ldquo;some reason&rdquo; to hope that the UK jobs market has overcome the worst.<br /><br />&ldquo;However, it remains difficult to build real optimism of an incipient recovery because most of the world remains in the depth of recession,&rdquo; it added.<br /><br />The report comes a day after former Bank of England monetary policy committee member David Blanchflower warned that UK unemployment could continue to rise into 2010, adding 100,000 more jobless numbers per month.