Permanent job placements fall again

The number of people placed in permanent jobs has fallen for the second month in a row, suggesting that employers are putting recruitment decisions on hold until after the Olympics, according to new research.

A report by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said there was still a "high degree of uncertainty" among employers.

There were reductions in both permanent and short-term staff appointments during July, while recruitment consultants reported an increase in the availability of staff.

Bernard Brown of KPMG said: "Only a few weeks ago there was an audible sigh of relief across the UK's workforce as official employment figures indicated signs of improvement.

"However, my concern is that any sigh of relief may be mistaken for a groan of exasperation, because the rate at which employers are recruiting has decreased for the second consecutive month, and this suggests that there is still a high degree of uncertainty."

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "The UK's labour market deserves a gold medal for its incredible performance in the face of adversity so far this year. In the last few months, it has defied gravity as unemployment has fallen and jobs grew even while the economy slipped back into recession.

"But this run might be coming to an end as this month's data shows that permanent appointments have fallen for a second month and temporary employment has seen an eighth consecutive month of contraction.

"However, we have always said that we expected to see ups and downs in the employment figures rather than a continued sustained period of jobs growth."