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Jobs market and pay are still in decline but at a slower rate

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Demand for staff wages and salaries continued to fall in April - but the pace is slowing.

As the UK enjoyed spring weather over the bank holiday weekend, reports indicate the green shoots of the economy may take some time to appear as the latest REC/KPMG Report on Jobs shows permanent and temporary job placements are still declining, but at the slowest rate in the last seven months.

Pay for permanent and temporary staff also decreased ‘sharply' in April but at the slowest rate since January.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said: "These figures show the jobs market isn't declining at the same speed that it has in previous months and that recruiters are feeling slightly more optimistic about job prospects.

The Government must do all it can to maintain this optimism by protecting the UK's highly successful, flexible labour market. A flexible workforce will help business take people on when demand returns and provide a vital stepping-stone back into work for many jobseekers."

And Mike Stevens, partner and head of business services at KPMG, added: "The modest improvement in all aspects of the employment market we started to see in March continued throughout April. However, it's worth pointing out that ‘improvement' only means ‘a reduction in the rate of deterioration' - permanent placements and temporary billings continued to fall, just at a slower rate.  The employment outlook is still worse than at any time in the 11-year history of the survey."