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More and more people are rejecting job offers

Concerns about the economy appear to be keeping job seekers from accepting new offers, even if they are looking for another job.

One of the UK’s largest recruitment firms, Page Group, has been hit so hard by the clampdown that its annual profits could halve this year.

The company said trust with candidates and the companies it is trying to recruit for “remains limited.”

This meant that even once job seekers had passed the final interview, getting them to change jobs was the “biggest challenge.”

Currently, no increase in employment is expected before 2025.

Inflation has surged into double digits in recent years, and interest rates have remained at a 16-year high of 5.25 percent.

Given the current uncertainty, more employers are hiring hourly or contract workers rather than full-time employees.

There are concerns that people who decide to change jobs will lose their current job security and ultimately lose their position with their new employer.

The finding comes shortly after the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics were published, showing the number of people in paid employment in the UK fell by 36,000 between March and April this year.

In addition, the employment rate for people aged 16 to 64 was estimated at 74.3 per cent in the period from February to April, which is lower than the estimate from a year earlier and a decrease during this period, while the unemployment rate was estimated at 4.4 per cent, which is higher than in the previous year.

Problems with job-related anxiety appear to be most pronounced among those seeking permanent employment, who, according to Page Group, “remain reluctant to change jobs.”

Since the beginning of 2023, there has been a slump in labor markets around the world as the weaker economic situation negatively impacts recruitment.

That caution applies even as inflation fell in May, when prices rose 2.8% from 3% in April.

The new data is due to be released on 17 July, with many, including the new Labour government, hoping inflation will continue to fall, helping to ease the cost of living crisis.

Page Group, which is now forecasting full-year profits of £60m compared with £118m in 2023, said businesses in the UK were still “deferring hiring decisions” and candidates were “being cautious about accepting offers”.

This led to the company’s UK pre-tax profit falling by more than 17 per cent to £26.8m in the three months to the end of June, compared with £32.5m in the same period last year.

The company currently employs 7,576 people worldwide, up from over 9,000 at the end of 2022.