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North East labour market decline eases during June

The latest KPMG and REC jobs report pointed to a softer decline in recruitment activity during June.

Both permanent placements and temporary billings fell at slower rates compared to May but remained severely depressed compared to normal times.

The reductions were predominantly driven by another steep contraction in demand for workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

That said, the drop in vacancies eased for the second month running.

Reports of redundancies and furloughed workers led to another substantial increase in candidate availability.

The plunge in demand for workers combined with rising staff supply also led to sharp falls in starting salaries and temp wages.

David Elliott, office senior partner for KPMG in Newcastle, said: “Despite an inevitable further drop in hiring activity for permanent and temporary staff, it is encouraging to see they both fell at softer rates than seen in April and May.

“However, the air of uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic will linger – and rebuilding confidence in the region’s jobs market will take time.

“All eyes will be on the Chancellor’s fiscal statement today, with job seekers hoping to see a focus on skills and retraining, while business will welcome further support packages so they can start to ramp up as lockdown eases, and recovery gets underway.”