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Labour market slowing down

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The jobs market showed signs of weakening in October, according to a new report.

The latest Report on Jobs, produced by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), revealed that the rate of increase in both permanent and temporary positions was at its lowest for 14 months in October.

The figures will fuel speculation about a possible double-dip in employment, with the rising trend of the last year being thrown into reverse.

Despite the slow down, however, Kevin Green, the REC’s chief executive, remained upbeat about the ability of the private sector to create enough jobs to compensate for the scale of losses predicted for the public sector.

Mr Green said: “The Report on Jobs for October shows that the UK jobs market is still growing. However, the rate of growth was the weakest for 14 months and vacancies remained on a downward trend, rising at the slowest pace for 12 months. This confirms that the private sector’s ability to compensate for planned job losses in the public sector hangs very much in the balance.

“These figures show that employer confidence remains fragile and that the double dip in employment we forecast last month remains a possibility. The role of job creation now rests solely with the private sector and the government must do all it can to facilitate this process.

“We remain confident that the private sector will ultimately be able to offset public sector job losses.”

But he added that, in order to help, the government needs to reduce taxation on business, remove unnecessary employment legislation and, most importantly, incentivise private sector businesses to take on the one million young people not currently in work, education or training.