October 8, 2019 / 12:07 AM / 8 months ago

UK demand for staff rises at weakest rate since 2012: REC survey

FILE PHOTO: People walk through the Canary Wharf financial district of London, Britain, December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British companies’ demand for new staff increased in September at the weakest rate in almost eight years, according to a survey on Tuesday that showed the labor market, the bright spot of the economy, is starting to show cracks ahead of Brexit.

An index of vacancies in a monthly labor market survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) fell to its lowest since January 2012 at 52.6, down from 52.8 in August.

The survey of recruitment firms chimes with official data which showed job creation in Britain started to wane ahead of the October Brexit deadline, although wage growth has risen to an 11-year high in recent months.

“Businesses are positive about their own prospects, but ongoing Brexit uncertainty has led many firms to delay projects and hiring decisions,” REC chief executive Neil Carberry said.

The survey, sponsored by accountants KPMG, showed growth in starting salaries for permanent staff recovered only partially last month after hitting a 32-month low in August.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken

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