Permanent vacancies fall

Permanent staff placements decreased for the second month running in November, according to the REC and KPMG Report on Jobs.  

Permanent staff placements decreased for the second month running in November, according to the REC and KPMG Report on Jobs.

The report shows the number of placements fell moderately, but the rate of decline quickened to the sharpest since July 2009. It said the rate of growth of permanent job vacancies is at a 25-month low, although sectors like engineering and IT showed a growth in vacancies.

The number of temporary and contract positions rose, if moderately, for the 28th consecutive month. 

The news came as Reed announced its highest rise in job vacancies in the private sector for nearly two years.

Reed says employer demand reached new highs in areas ranging from Hospitality & Catering to Accountancy and Engineering to Leisure & Tourism.

Overall, demand has risen 33 per cent since December 2009, it says.

Growth in new jobs was seen in over half of the regions analysed and was led by London, the South East and the North West. However,  employer demand fell in five out of the 12 regions analysed, including Wales, the North East and Scotland.

James Reed, Chairman of’s parent company, Reed Global, said: "The latest Reed Job Index shows that confidence about the future has continued to increase right across the private sector, in spite of last week’s gloomy economic pronouncements. Not only is employer demand up by twenty per cent year on year, newly available private sector jobs are at their highest level since the dark days which followed the last banking crisis. There are even signs that the British economy is rebalancing towards the industrial sector, with demand for technical staff, such as engineering and IT specialists, 90 per cent higher now than when our Index began 23 months ago.

"Caution remains, with salaries for new jobs staying low, and growth more patchy outside the regional powerhouses of London, the South East and North West. Only fools forecast, and increasing turmoil in the Eurozone makes us all wary of plotting a clear path forwards. At the same time, the Reed Job Index has proved to be a reliable leading economic indicator, and certainly demonstrates that the underlying appetite for growth across the private sector is at a higher level than some commentators believe."

However, Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, said of the Report on Jobs: “Bright spots in an otherwise gloomy data set were that the agencies surveyed reported rising demand in permanent placements for engineering and construction staff ahead of this time last year, and demand also rose for IT and computing staff, together with the executive / professional and secretarial / clerical categories.  But these isolated sectors do not compensate for an overall decline in permanent placements.

“According to the survey panel, economic uncertainty is resulting in a number of employers placing jobs on hold and taking longer to make recruitment decisions.  Last week’s autumn statement contained a number of welcome measures aimed at helping businesses to grow and to ease red tape around employment but they are unlikely to make much difference in the short term.” 

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