Hays says EU vote hit UK jobs market and warns of trouble aheadComments Off on Hays says EU vote hit UK jobs market and warns of trouble ahead
The UK hiring market weakened significantly in the run-up to the EU referendum, recruiter Hays said today as it warned the domestic jobs market looks set to remain tough.
Modest growth in Hays’ UK business stalled as the Brexit poll neared and clients’ sentiment deteriorated.
The City was hit hard, with fees falling 3% in the year ended June 30. Fees generated by the New York City football club sponsor across the UK were flat.
A step down in permanent roles continued immediately after the vote as companies opted to “pause for breath”, chief executive Alistair Cox said.
Hiring for temporary positions had returned to pre-referendum levels, he added, but it was too soon to discern any Brexit-related trends with many decision-makers still away on holidays.
Cox insisted, however, that the City market was not facing a slowdown like in the financial crisis.
“This is not a 2008 post-Lehman [Brothers collapse] moment, far from it. Banking worldwide has been difficult,” he said.
“The City has been dealing with this for at least a couple of years and I think is well-versed in managing a way through. The UK market is tough but broadly stable.”
However, Hays shares sank 6.7p to 123.9p.
Hays’ fees grew 6% to £810.3 million with pre-tax profit up 11% to £173 million. All other markets grew, with Germany, France and the US all strong.
Hays eliminated its net debt and raised the dividend by 5% to 2.9p.