After months of buoyant demand for staff, new figures have revealed a marked slow-down in Britain's recruitment market.
The latest Report on Jobs, from Deloitte and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, shows that demand for staff in January posted the slowest rate of growth in 11 months.
Although demand for staff is continuing to grow, it is no longer at the robust rate seen over the past year.
As a result, the growing problem of candidate availability and skills shortages has begun to ease.
But according to Deloitte's Brett Walsh, companies should not take this latest deceleration as a sign to stop recruiting.
“The job market remains relatively tight especially for those recruiting executive and construction staff” he said.
The report shows that the construction and engineering sectors continued to post robust growth of staffing levels in January. Compared to other sectors, it ranks first for demand of temporary staff and second for permanent placements.
Another sector continuing to show confidence is the accounting and finance sector – where it ranks higher for permanent placements than temporary offers. Strong growth of demand for permanent staff often reflects a confidence in the marketplace.
However, the manufacturing sector continued to be hard-hit over the past two months - it was the only employment sector to post a decline in employment during January.