“I wouldn’t say the shoots are green out there but there’s some stabilisation which is reassuring,” Ingham said.
The statement came as the nation’s second-largest recruiter said conditions had continued to weaken in the second quarter but the rate of decline had slowed in the UK, which accounts for over a third of its profit.
Group second-quarter profits declined by 45 per cent to £83.8m while gross profit in the UK declined 42 per cent to £28.1m over the period.
The company has axed about 1,800 of its staff over the past year to cut costs in response to market conditions, bringing total headcount to around 3,700. Yesterday, it said it was selectively recruiting again in some areas, including financial services.
Ingham’s statement will gain support later today when a monthly report on jobs – published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG – will show that the number of people finding permanent positions in June declined at its slowest rate in 13 months.
The report also comes ahead of a trading statement tomorrow from the UK’s largest listed recruiter, Hays.
Earlier in the week, Hays’ chief executive Alistair Cox said recuitment prospects in the City were “brutal”, saying that “there is no clear sign that we are part the worst”.
He warned that those over 35 who have lost their jobs should not expect them to “come back any time soon”.