UK jobs market cools a little but pay pressure still strong: REC – Reuters UK

Workers travel through London Bridge rail and underground station during the morning rush hour in London, Britain, September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) – British employers added permanent staff last month at the weakest rate in over a year suggesting the labour market might be cooling a bit, according to a survey that will be noted by the Bank of England as it assesses inflation pressures.
The permanent staff placements index from accountants KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) fell for a fifth month running to 59.8 from 64.1, its lowest level since March 2021 but still well above the 50 threshold for growth.
The survey's gauge of temporary staff hiring in April also fell to its lowest in a year.
While starting pay for new hires continued to rise at a near-record pace, the survey suggested some of the heat from Britain's labour market – a key reason why the BoE has raised interest rates four times since December – is starting to fade.
Neil Carberry, REC chief executive, said it was no surprise that some of the readings were coming off the boil.
"The number of job placements being made is still growing, but at a more stable rate," he said.
Last week the BoE warned Britain risks a double-whammy of inflation above 10% and a recession as it raised borrowing costs, although some of its officials are worried about the strength of pay pressure which could entrench price pressures.
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British rail unions on Friday announced they would join a series of already-planned strikes in October over pay and conditions.
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