... but UK job demand falls

OVERALL demand for staff among employers across the UK grew at its slowest rate in almost a year last month, a report published today will show, prompting fears the economy may be slipping back into recession.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)/KPMG report showed a slower rise in both permanent and temporary vacancies during the month.

Salary increases among permanent staff also rose by the lowest amount in ten months, the report shows.

And hourly pay among temporary and contract staff actually decreased marginally in September for the first time in nine months.

Engineering, construction and executive staff were those most in demand indicating a continuing recovery in the private and manufacturing sectors.

But public sector recruitment had seen a severe drop in demand as organisations began redundancy programmes or imposed hiring freezes.

There had been “a sharp decline” in the demand for healthcare professionals as a direct result of government cutbacks and efforts to reform the NHS, which KPMG partner and head of business services, Bernard Brown warned “may be only a sign of things to come.”

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said September’s report showed the jobs market was “starting to flatline” adding the figures could “herald a ‘double dip’ in employment”.

Green said: “While there is marginal growth, these figures are the worst we have seen for a year. The government must do everything possible to avert the threat of increasing unemployment.”