The jobs market began to stabilise in September following the typical lull experienced during the summer months. While the number of new job vacancies continued to fall in September, the rate at which these vacancies are falling month on month has begun to slow across both permanent and temporary roles.

The accountancy sector is bucking the current trend, as one of the only sectors to record positive growth in new job vacancies in September. While temporary roles continue to suffer, down 3.5% month on month, permanent vacancies increased 1.1% in September as more employers commit to permanent hires.

The IT sector is another area where the creation of new vacancies is beginning to stabilise. While permanent job vacancies continued to record a marginal fall in September, temporary roles appear to have turned a corner and recorded an increase last month, the first sign of a return to positive growth since June.

In contrast, volumes of new general staffing vacancies are continuing to fall, albeit at a slower rate than in previous months. The retail sector continues to struggle in the current climate, recording a significant drop in the creation of new, permanent roles, for the third consecutive month. While new temporary vacancies also fell in September, this trend is expected to reverse before the end of the year, as many retailers take on additional staff in time for the Christmas shopping season.

Steven Kirkpatrick, Managing Director, Adecco – the UK’s largest recruiter, said:
“Despite some marginal improvements in the jobs market last month, we still have a long way to go. There is little doubt that this week’s ONS figures will report a continued rise in unemployment, as many employers maintain a cautious approach to new hires. With the Eurozone crisis only fuelling further uncertainty in the market, this trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future and we must prepare for tough times ahead.
“However, it is not all doom and gloom, some sectors, such as the accounting and IT sectors, are beginning to buck the trend, recording marginal growth in the number of new vacancies created last month. There are still opportunities out there for strong candidates, but competition is fierce and job seekers have to work harder than ever to stand out from the crowd.”
Commenting on the recent introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), which came into effect on the 1st October,

Kirkpatrick added:
“With the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) finally coming into effect at the beginning of October, the industry will be watching with interest over the next few months as we wait to see what impact if any, these new regulations will have on the demand for temporary staff.
“The temporary jobs market has a pivotal role to play in supporting UK businesses as they steer their way out of the recession, with many employers reliant on the flexible approach this element of the workforce afford. Recruiters have an important role to play in working with employers to help them to understand and to navigate this new legislation and to ensure this vital element of the workforce is not adversely affected by these new regulations.”