UK Hiring Activity Growth Slows In July

UK recruiters reported a slowdown in hiring activity in July due to increased uncertainty around the outlook, the latest KPMG and REC, Report on Jobs survey, compiled by S&P Global showed Friday.

Both permanent staff appointment and temp billings grew at the weakest pace in 17 months as firms said greater uncertainty towards the outlook as well as rising costs has led some clients to be more cautious around hiring decisions.

Meanwhile, the vacancy growth eased to a 16-month low in July. Although there was a further notable increase in demand for staff, the rate of vacancy growth slowed for the third month in a row.

The report suggested that the availability of candidates declined again in July. The rate of reduction was the slowest seen in 15 months. Nonetheless, there were still reports of skill shortages, fewer foreign workers and a greater hesitancy to seek out new roles.

The rates of starting pay continued to increase sharply for both permanent and short-term workers amid the rising cost of living and greater competition for scarce staff.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite alongside rising inflation-workers may well choose to stay where they are rather than risk job security by moving now,” Claire Warnes, head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, said.

So a focus on upskilling existing workers and attracting talent remains absolutely essential for UK business to play its part in driving forward the economy, Warnes noted.

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