Stocks to watch as UK's recruitment activity slows down in September

October 07, 2022 11:47 AM BST | By Abhishek Sharma
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  • Amid economic uncertainties, the country's recruitment activity slowed down in September.
  • Workers are cautious about switching jobs, while businesses are wary of the economic conditions while hiring. 

Amid extreme economic uncertainties and warnings of a looming recession this year, recruitment activity in the country grew at the slowest pace in September in over a year and a half.

A survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has shown that job vacancies saw the weakest increase last month since February 2021, when several businesses were facing lockdown restrictions. Both permanent and temporary recruitment saw weak growth last month.

The survey was conducted by the REC from 12-26 September.

Responses to the survey indicate that workers across the country are cautious about switching jobs amid the economic headwinds. Besides, businesses are also warier about recruitment in the current situation.

Starting salaries also saw the weakest increase in 15 months.

Recruitment stocks

Image Source: © Tsyhun |

Unemployment rate still low

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, unemployment rates in the country stood at 3.6%, the lowest since 1974. The data is for the quarter to July. The employment rate, on the other hand, stands at 75.4% for the period.

Notably, there are concerns that soaring inflation might trigger a spiral of increasing salaries and more price rises. Therefore, the Bank of England is keeping a close eye on the UK's job market.

Let us now explore some FTSE recruitment stocks and see how they have been faring in the present scenario.

Hays Plc (LON: HAS)

The British recruitment firm belongs to the FTSE 250 index and holds a market capitalisation of £1,700.25 million. In the past 52 weeks, the share value has tumbled by 34.93%, while the year-to-date (YTD) return is presently at -28.45%. The recruitment services provider has a positive EPS of 0.09. As of 11:01 am GMT+1 on Friday, shares of HAS traded at GBX 104.70, down 0.38%.

PageGroup plc (LON: PAGE)

Another FTSE 250-listed recruitment consultancy is PageGroup, which offers services in multiple countries. Holding a market capitalisation of £1,286.87million, the company's stock price has slipped by over 40% in the past 12 months. The year-to-date return is also in the negative territory at -38.72%. PAGE shares traded at GBX 388.20, down 0.87% as of 11:06 am GMT+1 on Friday.

SThree Plc (LON: STEM)

SThree provides recruitment solutions to several industries and is a constituent of the FTSE All-Share index. It currently enjoys a market cap of £506.09 million and an EPS of 0.32. The 12-month and YTD returns of the stock stand in the negative zone at -34.39% and -19.40%, respectively. STEM shares traded at GBX 374.00, down 0.66% as of 11:11 am GMT+1 on Friday.

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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