According to the latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs survey for November, permanent job placements fell for the second month in a row.
The report which was compiled by IHS Markit consisted of responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.
The respondents frequently mentioned that staff hiring was “dampened by uncertainty” related to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the renewed lockdown measures in November.
KPMG reported that redundancies related to the pandemic have led to greater availability of both permanent and temporary candidates.
The survey revealed that the rate of “deterioration was solid”, and driven by a steep decline in permanent vacancies. In contrast, demand for temporary staff rose for the fourth month in a row, softer than in October.
According to the survey, only two of the ten monitored job categories registered “higher demand” for permanent workers in November, namely in IT and computing and engineering.
The worst performers were in the hospitality sector and retail, which continue to be heavily hit by restrictions.
James Stewart, vice chair at KPMG, said: “The continual reluctance to recruit permanent staff and a further marked increase in people available for work, leaves the UK jobs market teetering on a precipice.
“However, looking ahead, there is reason for optimism with the welcome vaccine news, although challenges remain as the recent lockdown, new tier system and impending Brexit means it will be a long road back to the UK jobs market seen pre-Covid.”
He added: “While the extension of the furlough scheme may give the Government some breathing space, it needs to continue to support UK business and offer jobseekers the means to retrain and upskill, helping the recovery in jobs and reviving the UK’s productivity growth.”