Recruitment firm Hays confirms slow jobs market

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The Independent Online

Hays, the recruitment specialist, confirmed the slowing of the UK jobs market yesterday with first-quarter figures showing fees for the UK and Ireland down by 8 per cent.

The global company's overall permanent placement fees rose just one per cent in the three months to September, while income from temporary positions rose by 8 per cent, boosted by strong demand in Germany.

Major staffing cuts across the financial services industry and areas affected by the decline in the housing market are taking their toll on the UK figures, Alistair Cox, the chief executive of Hays, said. "The UK is being impacted by wider economic issues affecting corporate and candidate confidence," he added. "The most affected areas are City-related activities and the construction and property sectors, where we've seen a significant reduction in demand."

The strongly performing sectors are education, healthcare, retail and purchasing, while technology industry recruitment is still rising, if modestly. Income from public sector clients was up 15 per cent in the period.

Hays cut its own staff by a further 5 per cent in the first quarter, having already contracted by 7 per cent in the second half of the last financial year.