Jobs Market Faltering, says KPMG
Permanent job levels are continuing to decline, and there are the first signs of a falling off in the demand for temporary staff, according to the latest survey from KPMG.
The Report on Jobs from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) shows the number of people placed in permanent jobs fell for the third successive month in December. Demand slowed at a similar modest rate to that seen in November.
Recruitment agencies’ billings from the employment of temporary/contract staff also declined in December, the first reduction in almost two-and-a-half years. Hourly pay rates dipped slightly for the first time since the beginning of 2011, while there was little change in permanent salaries.
December saw a marked upturn in the number of candidates available, with the number of people looking for a permanent job increasing at the sharpest rate for two years, and temp availability improving at the fastest rate since October 2009.
The report suggests some sectors remain strong, notably engineering, technology, IT, and office professionals, while there has also been an increase in demand for nursing, medical and care staff.
However, the survey shows the finance and accountancy market has been in negative territory for two consecutive months. The hotel and catering sector has also seen a significant downturn over the past two months, despite anticipations that it would benefit from events in the run up to the Olympics this summer.
Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG said: ‘It is a huge concern to see temporary placements falling in tandem with permanent employment opportunities, making it difficult to be optimistic about the employment market in 2012. The decline in temporary roles is a clear indication that businesses are too nervous to even make short-term commitments.’