Fall in job vacancies beginning to slow

The rate of decline in the numbers of new job appointments and vacancies has slowed down, according to a new report.

The latest report on jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) revealed that falls in permanent and temporary placements for April were the slowest for seven months.

Permanent salaries and pay for temporary workers also declined at the least marked pace since January.

Kevin Green, the REC’s chief executive, said: “These figures show that the jobs market isn’t declining at the same speed that it has in previous months and that recruiters are feeling slightly more optimistic about job prospects.”

But Mr Green added that the government needs to take action to maintain the sense of optimism by protecting the flexibility of the UK labour market.

He continued: “A flexible workforce will help business take people on when demand returns and helps provide a vital stepping stone back into work for many jobseekers.

“The imminent consultation on the Agency Workers’ Directive must ensure that the new regulations are implemented in a way to enhance job opportunities and avoid additional cost for employers in these difficult times.”

Though both permanent and temporary staff placements fell at a slower pace last month, the REC pointed out that the rate of deterioration in the labour market was still significantly sharp.

The report also found that the number of available job candidates increased substantially again in April, driven by high levels of redundancies.