The recruitment sector has seen more cuts than chancellor George Osborne's Christmas turkey, as City analysts across the board slashed earnings estimates following dour trading updates from recruitment companies
Considering the downbeat mood in the global economy and news of slowing growth in emerging markets, the downgrades should come as little surprise, especially to those who followed our advice on 13 September (Crunch time for recruitment) when we highlighted that the Christmas season would be a key time. We were particularly concerned about Michael Page due to its sky-high rating and exposure to a global slowdown - concern that has proved prescient.
Growth rates in Asia fell to 26 per cent, from 44 per cent in the third quarter, with a similar picture in Europe, Middle East and Africa. So
But it isn't all bad news. Michael Page reported that profit in its UK division actually grew by 1.2 per cent in October and November. This isn't much help when you generate the lion's share of your profits overseas and, admittedly, it is glacial growth, but it does provide some succour for UK-focused recruiters.
And the investment case was given further weight by the joint Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG Report on Jobs, which showed rising demand for temporary staff and a resilient market for engineering and IT staff in the UK. That makes both