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UK: Job vacancies and pay fall at record pace

  Demand for staff at companies fell at its fastest rate in more than 10 years in February and pay also fell at a record rate as firms slashed costs, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation/KPMG report on jobs said the poor economic climate had resulted in a further drop in demand for staff. The level of vacancies fell at its fastest rate since the survey began in October 1997, recording an index reading of 27.6 down from 27.7 in January.

Weaker demand for workers pushed down pay for permanent and temporary staff at its fastest rate since records began. “It is clear that we have not yet hit the bottom of the jobs market,” said Kevin Green, REC chief executive.

Unemployment has been rising fast as the economy slips deeper into recession and hit nearly two million in the three months to December last year. Experts reckon the number of people without a job could rise to as much as 3 million by 2010. (Reuters)