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London’s Job Market Faces Steepest Decline Since 2020

Date Posted: 16 January, 2024
London, a global economic hub, is grappling with a significant downturn in its job market, as highlighted by the latest KPMG and REC London labour market pulse check. The figures, supported by BusinessLDN, reveal a concerning trend, with vacancies plummeting for the tenth consecutive month. The pulse reading for December, at 47.0, signifies a sharper decline than the rest of the UK, emphasising the severity of the situation.
Amidst the challenging economic landscape, the number of candidates seeking employment has surged for the 12th consecutive month. Although permanent placements have decreased, the decline is less pronounced compared to the previous month. Anna Purchas, Senior London Office Partner at KPMG UK, sheds light on the dichotomy, stating, “London’s labour market remains out of sync,” with more job seekers and diminishing available roles.
Cautious employers in the capital are adapting to the sustained economic slowdown by shifting towards temporary staff. Purchas notes variations by sector, expressing optimism about permanent recruitment in key sectors such as construction, education, hospitality, and life sciences over the next four to twelve months.
Muniya Barua, Deputy Chief Executive of BusinessLDN, delivers a stark warning to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Barua underscores the urgency for a bold pro-growth package in the upcoming March Budget. Proposing immediate measures, she suggests reversing the decision to scrap VAT-free shopping for international visitors and making childcare more affordable and accessible. Additionally, providing the needed clarity to accelerate housebuilding is seen as crucial to unlocking jobs, growth, and homes for Londoners.
As these challenges persist, it is imperative to reflect on the broader economic context. Official figures indicating a 0.3% rise in the UK’s GDP in November offer some relief. However, fears of a technical recession loom, with December’s figures set to determine whether the economy faces two consecutive quarters of decline.
In the face of these uncertainties, it raises the question: What proactive measures do you believe are essential to rejuvenate London’s job market and steer the city toward economic recovery?