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UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery

A new survey shows that the UK's permanent hiring decline was the least severe in over a year in May 2024, indicating a potential recovery in the job market. Improvements were noted across various measures, despite earlier weakness. Factors such as the upcoming national election and possible interest rate cuts are expected to reduce employer hesitancy, with the Bank of England closely monitoring the labor market to decide on future borrowing cost reductions.
A new industry survey indicates that the decline in permanent hiring in the UK was the least severe in more than a year in May 2024, suggesting a potential recovery in the recruitment market.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) reported that permanent hiring fell by the smallest amount in 14 months, and billings for temporary staff dropped by the least since January.

REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry noted significant improvements over the previous month.

Despite generally showing a weaker labor market than official data, which recorded a 6 percent annual wage growth in Q1 2024, the survey highlighted a slowdown in the rate of decline for vacancies and pay rates for permanent staff.

Upcoming factors, such as the July 4 national election and anticipated interest rate cuts by the Bank of England (BoE), are expected to further reduce employer hesitancy.

Notably, the availability of staff increased the most since December 2020, driven by redundancies, higher unemployment, and reduced demand for staff.

The BoE is monitoring the labor market closely to determine when inflation pressures have eased sufficiently to reduce borrowing costs, a move not seen since the coronavirus pandemic began over four years ago.
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