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Recruiter Randstad's earnings rise as talent remains 'scarce'

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FILE PHOTO: Logo of personnel service provider Randstad is seen in Zurich
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By Valentine Baldassari and Charlotte Lavin

(Reuters) -Dutch recruitment firm Randstad reported an 18% jump in second-quarter core profit on Tuesday, broadly in line with analysts' expectations, as companies continued to compete for workers.

The group's underlying earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) reached 308 million euros ($315 million) in the three months to the end of June, up from 260 million a year earlier and in line with analysts' 309-million-euro estimate.

"Looking at the numbers today, the job postings and requests are still very high and talent is still very scarce. In some markets there are more jobs than unemployed people. That is an indicator of the scarcity in the market," Chief Executive Sander van 't Noordende told reporters.

He said demand was particularly high in healthcare and technology, but also in the automotive industry and other industrial sectors.

The recruitment industry has boomed since economies began reopening from coronavirus-induced lockdowns, as companies moved to fill empty positions, creating a highly competitive job market.

The Amsterdam-listed company said demand for permanent staff and recruitment outsourcing business remained strong also in July and that the number of temporary placements was similar to that of the second quarter.

"I would say the demand is still high, the scarcity is still there. I don't think that is going to go away any time soon," van 't Noordende said.

"We have seen some clients in the U.S. saying 'we are going to reduce hiring', not 'we are going to stop hiring' ... that's pretty much all we have seen, we have seen no restructurings or anything like that," he added.

Three-month group revenue through June 30 was up 13% year-on-year at 6.89 billion euros, with organic growth of 10% in North America but only 1% in the Netherlands and 4% in Germany.

($1 = 0.9782 euros)

(Reporting by Valentine Baldassari and Charlotte Lavin in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi and Jacqueline Wong)

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