Whilst the London Olympic Games have been credited as a reason for the recent fall in unemployment, the latest data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has revealed that hiring levels for professional positions fell during the summer.
The report from APSCo found that vacancies for professionals positions fell in August, most notably within permanent positions (down 24%) as well as temporary positions (24%). The organisation commented that despite this widespread slowdown for permanent jobs, the temporary jobs sector remained a “bright spot” for the professional staffing market.
The most recent employment figures from the ONS reported the highest number of temporary workers in the UK, since their records began in 1992, and APSCo agreed that this was largely due to jobs created by the Olympics, such as in the IT sector. This was also evident through their figures which revealed a 4% rise in temporary placements in August, compared to the same period last year.
APSCo’s Chief Executive Ann Swain described the Olympics’ effect on hiring intentions; “This year, with the added distraction of the Olympics, some workplaces slowed almost to a standstill and businesses may have decided to put recruitment on temporary hold.” Adding that, “Some management teams in professional services firms took the decision not to interview applicants during the Olympics.”
Staffing Industry Analysts’ John Nurthen, who worked alongside APSCo to conduct the research, said; “Temporary workers are a popular option amongst employers, as they offer more flexibility than a permanent hire.” He continued that the current state of the UK economy means that employer confidence remains low which has created a reluctance to take on permanent staff. However, he praised sectors such as IT, where there was a 15% rise in placements in August.
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