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Decline in number of temporary jobs is easing but permanent job market remains grim

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The number of permanent job vacancies fell sharply in July but there was a reduction in the fall of vacancies for temporary posts, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

The Report on Jobs, published today, shows although the rate of decline in permanent job vacancies had eased over the previous four months, in July the rate of decline accelerated. Although the drop was not as steep as the severe reduction in 2008, last month marked the slowest pace for jobseekers since last August.

But there was a small reduction in the decline of temporary vacancies and the growth of staff availability is easing.

Tom Hadley, director of external relations at the REC, said: "The employment landscape remains volatile at best, but life is slowly returning to the temporary work market. The rate of contraction for temporary and contract work has eased to the slowest in 10 months and flexible working options will continue to provide a crucial outlet for both jobseekers and employers over the coming months."

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, is optimistic for the future. He added: "Employers may be taking advantage of this traditionally quiet time of year to re-assess their recruitment needs. Looking ahead to the second half of 2009 a degree of confidence may return to the job market.

"While it is early days, and despite staff availability continuing to rise this month, the market may start to show signs of improvement by the end of the year."