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Public sector cuts start to hit job market

Simon Quicke

The job market continues to recover from the low point of the recession but there are signs that the rate of improvement is slowing down.

In the last few months the regular reports from KMPG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) have showed that jobs are flowing back into the system but at a slower rate in the last eight weeks.

According to the KPMG/REC monthly figures for May demand for permanent IT staff continued to be strong but the need for temporary positions fell back slightly.

The skills that remain in short supply are around enterprise software and security on the permanent side and there is a temporary demand for developers.

Across the economy the rate of pay for full and part time staff also started to dip slightly as the signs of continued belt tightening were felt in salary levels.

Fears since the start of the year that public sector unemployment would become an issue once the government changed and started tackling the deficit have started to be realised.

"The UK job market recovery continues albeit at a sower pace than in previous months. While demand for staff from the private sector remains strong in some areas, the figures suggest that hiring activity ion the public sector has started to slow down," said Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG.

"Many public sector employers will have imposed embargoes on recruitment at least until we get more details of further cuts in the emergency budget on 22 June," he added.

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