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Job market growth eases in June

The number of staff appointments grew in June, according to a survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (Rec).

It reported a further strong rise in permanent staff placements, with engineering and construction the most sought after.

However, the pace of growth was the slowest for five months.

Rec said more people were available for permanent and temporary work in June compared with previous months.

The report adds to growing fears about the UK's capacity for employment with the new government expected to cut the number of people employed in the public sector.

Rec's chief executive, Kevin Green, said: "This is an encouraging sign that the jobs market is stable and, in some sectors such as construction and engineering, rapidly growing.

'Knock-on effect'

"However, with the predictions of up to 600,000 job losses in the public sector, it is still too early to tell how much of a knock-on effect this will have on job creation in the private sector."

Bernard Brown, of KPMG, which helped with the research, said he believed some of these jobs could be taken up by private business: "The big challenge will be to transfer as many of these jobs as possible to the private sector through outsourcing and divestment."

The survey of 400 recruitment and employment consultancies comes after reports earlier this week of massive graduate unemployment.

Rec's Mr Green said the challenge of finding work for the near-million young jobseekers younger employees was a major concern: "Youth unemployment is one of the most pressing issues we currently face in the UK and needs to be urgently addressed."

 
Job creation top priority

Unemployment in rich economies may have peaked, but 17 million new jobs were needed to return to pre-crisis employment levels, a group has said.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said job creation had "to be a top priority for governments".

Creating jobs at the same time as cutting deficits was "a daunting challenge", the group added.

It said there was a risk that millions may lose touch with the labour market.

"High joblessness as the new normal can not be accepted and has to be tackled by a comprehensive policy strategy," OECD secretary general Angel Gurria said.

Maintaining support

Of the 17 million jobs that have been shed during the downturn, 10 million have been lost in the US, the group of 31 developed nations said.

In Spain, which has the highest rate of unemployment in the OECD area at 19.9%, 2.5 million jobs have been lost.

In total, there are 47 million people unemployed in the area, but that number could be 80 million if those who have given up looking for work, or those working part-time but looking for full-time work, are taken into account, the group said.

While acknowledging that governments had to cut budget deficits, and that there had been "signs of [economic] recovery in most countries", the OECD said support for the unemployed must be maintained.

"Governments must resist the temptation to cut benefits or reduce funds for re-employment services to save money in the short term," it added.

The group recommended tax breaks and other subsidies for hiring, together with increased investment in training, particularly for low-skilled workers.

Governments were forced to borrow heavily during the global downturn, and are now focusing on cutting their budget deficits to reduce their overall levels of debt.

To this end, many are making drastic spending cuts to help balance the books, including cutting back some public sector jobs.

This has raised concerns that unemployment levels could rise, which in turn could undermine the recovery.

 
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