PAGE, STEM, RWA: Should you invest in these recruitment stocks?

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PAGE, STEM, RWA: Should you invest in these recruitment stocks?

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 PAGE, STEM, RWA: Should you invest in these recruitment stocks?
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Highlights

  • Real wages fell 3.4% in the year to April - the fastest rate in two decades, according to data from the ONS.
  • The job market too indicated a cooldown as the unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in the quarter to April 2022.

Even as inflation has reached four decade-high levels, the wages in the UK have failed to catch up with the rising prices, making it difficult for millions of people to manage household budgets. As per the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), regular pay (excluding bonuses) in April shrank by 3.4% after adjusted for inflation, making it the biggest fall on a year-on-year basis in two decades.

In the quarter to April, the average total pay, including bonuses, rose by 6.8%, and the regular pay (excluding bonuses) saw a 4.2% rise. However, when adjusted for inflation, the growth in total pay turned out to be 0.4%, while the regular wage fell by 2.2% over the year. This is the biggest quarterly drop in 10 years.

Real wages fell 3.4% in the year to April, according to the latest figures from the ONS.

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Unemployment rate sees a slight increase

Another release from the ONS showed that the job market in the UK is starting to cool down even as employers continue to struggle to fill up the vacancies. In the three months to April, the unemployment rate was at 3.8%, while it was recorded at 3.7% in the three months to March.

According to interim data, payrolled employees rose by 3.9% in May 2022 compared to May 2021, while the rise was 0.3% in comparison to April 2022.

The number of job vacancies in the three months to May climbed to a new record of 1.3 million, according to the data that was released on Tuesday.

In wake of the latest numbers, let us take a look at some FTSE-listed recruitment stocks and how they have been faring.

PageGroup plc (LON: PAGE)

PageGroup provides recruitment consultancy and support services to its clients in several regions, including the UK, Europe, US, Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

The FTSE 250 constituent holds a market capitalisation of £1,360.48 million. Its returns over the past year haven't been particularly good. The share value has depreciated by over 31% over the past one year, while on a year-to-date basis, it has slipped by nearly 35%. The shares were trading at GBX 412.40, down by 0.39%, at 10:19 am GMT+1 on 14 June 2022.

SThree Plc (LON: STEM)

The global specialist staffing company offers permanent and contract recruitment services to multiple sectors, including IT, banking and finance, engineering, life sciences, and energy, among others. It has operations in the UK and Ireland, the US, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

The company is listed on the FTSE All-share index, and its share price was hovering at GBX 347.50, down by 1.84% on 14 June 2022 at 10:11 am GMT+1. At present, SThree plc has a market cap of £473.48 million, and its share price has plunged by 25.27% over the past year. The year-to-date return currently stands at -25.11%.

Robert Walters Plc (LON: RWA)

The company offers services for permanent, temporary and contractual staffing and is listed on the FTSE All-Share index.

Its shares were trading 0.80% down at GBX 496.00 as of 10:26 am GMT+1 on 14 June 2022. The shares provided a negative return of 29.75% to the investors over the past one year, while the year-to-date return stands at -35.58%.

Note: The above content constitutes a very preliminary observation or view based on market trends and is of limited scope without any in-depth fundamental valuation or technical analysis. Any interest in stocks or sectors should be thoroughly evaluated taking into consideration the associated risks.

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