The number of people in permanent jobs has fallen for the second month as the summer lull was affected by economic uncertainty and the distraction of the London Olympics.
The Labour market has been like a rollercoaster ride over the past year, with the number of unemployed falling between March and May despite the economy being in recession.
“The UK’s labour market deserves a gold medal for its incredible performance in the face of adversity so far this year,” said Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which represents recruitment agencies.
The REC’s index measuring the change in the number of permanent staff placements compared with a month ago came in at 47.3 last month from 46.8 in June, with readings below 50 indicating decline.
London saw the steepest fall in recruitment, and there were reports that some companies had decided to postpone recruitment until after the Olympics due to the number of people being preoccupied by this event.
Bernard Brown, head of business services at accountants KPMG said it was likely that the “Olympic effect” was combining with the traditionally quiet summer period for job hunters.
Research carried out by Recruitment Consultants Badenoch & Clark say that 1 in 6 employees will consider throwing a “sickie” during the Olympic Games. The figure increases to 1 in 4 amongst 16 to 34 year olds.