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UK permanent hirings growth slows to 10-month low: REC

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 07:09
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The number of permanent hirings by British companies carried out via recruitment companies rose at the slowest pace in 10 months in September and growth in starting salaries also weakened, a survey showed on Wednesday - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS

[LONDON] The number of permanent hirings by British companies carried out via recruitment companies rose at the slowest pace in 10 months in September and growth in starting salaries also weakened, a survey showed on Wednesday.

By contrast, pay for temporary workers rose at the fastest pace in seven years, perhaps a sign that companies were put off permanent hirings by global political uncertainties or by the approaching end of their financial years, the survey showed.

The monthly figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) trade body come as policymakers at the Bank of England debate the strength of the labour market at a monthly interest rate-setting meeting this week.

The BoE has said it is watching particularly closely for signs that pay growth might be about to speed up as it considers when it should raise interest rates from a record low of 0.5 per cent where they have sat since the financial crisis. "Starting salaries might look healthy, and are undoubtedly tempting some people to move, but the reality is that employers will soon reach a ceiling beyond which they won't be able to throw more cash around to land the right candidate," said Bernard Brown, a partner at accountants KPMG, who sponsor the survey.

The survey showed companies continued to struggle to find the right candidates to fill their vacancies but growth of permanent staff salaries eased to a four-month low in September.

Northern England saw the strongest increase in permanent staff placements while the slowest rise was in London.

Britain's labour market has staged a strong recovery since mid-2013. But overall pay growth has been weak, giving the BoE leeway to keep interest rates on hold. Most economists expect no increase in rates until at least February next year. - Reuters