London recruiters saw a further decline in permanent jobs placements last month as firms transitioned out of the downturn caused by the pandemic.
The fall in placements across London was stronger than those seen across the rest of England, according to KPMG and REC’s latest report on jobs. However the decline was the least marked since February and while the pandemic continued to stall hiring, there are signs of pick-up in new roles.
Permanent vacancies in London dropped for the fifth month running in July, but the rate of decline eased further from April’s nadir.
New roles for temporary staff in London also fell steeply and at a faster pace than those seen elsewhere in England. But mirroring trends seen in permanent placements, the rate of decline was the softest in the current five-month contraction.
Further redundancies in London as the furlough scheme started to wind down led to a sharp increase in the supply of both permanent and temporary staff.
The rise in availability of permanent staff accelerated from June and was the most marked since December 2008. While the numbers have grown since April due to the pandemic, the increase in London remained softer than the UK average.
This was not the case for temporary availability as the rate of growth accelerated to the sharpest in nearly 23 years of data collection in July. Last month was the fifth in as many months and was quicker than the UK average.
The report noted that firms that ended furlough schemes had made temporary staff redundant. The 100 recruitment and employment consultancies surveyed also noted that more people were looking for part-time work as the pandemic abated in the UK.
Lower vacancies and job cuts as a result of the crisis led to a fourth successive monthly drop in starting salaries and lower hourly rates for temporary employees.
James Stewart, vice chair at KPMG said: “We are still a long way from being out of the woods, with hiring plans remaining on ice and the uncertain outlook still weighing heavily on business’ recruitment decisions.”