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UK recruiters say hiring slow, pay growth weakest in over a year

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Lorry driver passes a sign on the side of his vehicle advertising for jobs as he makes a delivery, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Hiring by British employers grew only slowly in August and pay for permanent staff increased at its slowest pace in over a year, a survey of recruiters showed on Thursday.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation's (REC) measure of permanent hiring edged up from July's 17-month low while temporary hiring grew at the weakest pace since February 2021. Growth in vacancies slipped to an 18-month low.

"While the post-pandemic jobs rush is now abating, there were no real signs of a slowdown in employer demand," Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said.

"Indeed, reports from REC members suggest that any lowering of confidence in the market is driven primarily by candidates playing it safe, with the effect of further tightening the market," he added.

A combination of candidate shortages and double-digit inflation has led to sharp increases in starting pay for both permanent and temporary staff.

But in August, pay growth for people starting permanent roles was the weakest since June 2021.

The BoE is watching for signs of price pressure in the labour market as it considers how much further it needs to raise interest rates to fight an inflation rate above 10%.

The survey results were released ahead of an expected announcement by new British Prime Minister Liz Truss of a major support package for the economy on Thursday.

The survey polled 400 recruitment and employment consultancies between Aug. 12 and Aug. 24.

(Reporting by William Schomberg and Humza Jilani; editing by David Milliken)