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The post-Brexit UK job market

Posted by: Ian Piper

Nearly 2 months ago the British population was asked to decide whether to remain in the EU, or to leave and bring with it social, economic and financial upheaval.

We all know how the referendum went, but let’s have take a minute to consider the immediate repercussions on the British job market.

According to IHS Markit, the number of people in the UK securing a permanent job has fallen for two months in a row. The Data provider company specialises in collecting records from 400 UK recruitment companies and employment firms to create monthly Reports on Jobs. And the latest data suggests permanent placements in July fell at the sharpest rate since May 2009, with participants citing that the uncertainty has been a direct result of Brexit.

Of the recruitment consultants polled, nearly 38% said they had placed fewer people in permanent positions in July, an increase from 32% in June.

IHC Markit survey is not the only survey that has confirmed fewer people in the UK are securing permanent work. Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor for July 2016, found available jobs fell by 12% month-on-month, while the number of professionals seeking jobs had fallen 14%.

"The UK job market suffered a dramatic freefall in July, with permanent hiring dropping to levels not seen since the recession of 2009," said Kevin Green, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which sponsors the survey.

Despite this, both the surveys found that demand for employees was high in many specific sectors. Nursing and medical care was the most in-demand category for permanent staff during July, while construction workers saw a decline in demand for their services. Moreover, although Morgan McKinley noted there had been some problems with companies getting approval to take staff on board during the first half of 2016, demand for appropriately qualified talent still exceeded supply.

"Despite the economic and political landscape, we have seen an increase of hiring in specific areas within compliance: front office advisory, compliance monitoring and guideline/investment monitoring," said Leo Bellometti, compliance consultant at Morgan McKinley. "Economic turbulence following the vote to leave the EU is undoubtedly the root cause,” he concluded.

The surveys come right after the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said unemployment in the UK was expected to rise to 5.5% over the next two years. It is currently 4.9%.




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