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Jobs market experiences weakening growth

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The British labour market is showing signs of slowing down, according to a new report.

The latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that the rate of increase last month in the number of permanent positions was its weakest in a year.

The growth in temporary jobs during September wasn’t much better, increasing at its slowest rate for 11 months.

While overall demand for staff among employers did register a rise in September, it was the lowest since October 2009.

Should the trend continue, the REC suggested that it could mark a double dip in employment, with the jobs market either hitting a plateau or going into reverse.

Kevin Green, the REC’s chief executive, commented: “September’s Report on Jobs shows that the jobs market is starting to flatline and may herald a ‘double dip’ in employment. 

“Whilst there is marginal growth, these figures are the worst we have seen for a year. The government must do everything possible to avert the threat of increasing unemployment.”

Specifically, the REC called on Whitehall departments to avoid any new regulation that could restrict businesses and jobs growth.

The way that the government decides to implement the Agency Workers Regulations will be its first major test in cutting employment red tape, the REC added.

Mr Green said that although recent party conferences have underlined plans for welfare and benefits reform such changes would take years to implement.

He continued: “Immediate priorities for government must focus on encouraging private sector employers with incentives to take on staff and radically improving the support being offered to specific groups of jobseekers, such as those under 25.”