LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) – British employers added staff in May at the slowest pace since early 2021, according to a survey that adds to signs that the labour market is losing some of its heat.
A measure of permanent staff hiring by accountants KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) fell for a sixth month to 59.2 from 59.8 in April, but remained well above the 50 threshold for growth.
The survey’s gauge of temporary staff hiring in May also fell to its lowest since early last year.
The Bank of England has expressed concern that the surge in demand for staff could create longer-term inflation pressure after prices recently leapt on the reopening of the global economy followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The BoE is widely expected to increase interest rates for the fifth time since December on June 16.
Neil Carberry, REC chief executive, said the number of vacancies remained high although there was another slight decrease in the growth rate for salaries and temporary pay.
“The market for temporary work is stabilising faster than for permanent staff, which could suggest a little caution creeping into employers’ thinking in the face of high inflation,” he said.
The loss of about half a million people from the jobs market from before the coronavirus pandemic represented a major strategic issue for Britain, he said.
(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)