The number of recruitment ads placed in Britain’s national press plummeted in November, says a newly released report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

The body registered a 40% year-on-year decline in its Press Recruitment Advertising Index – a measure of vacancies listed in the national media – the most acute downturn in the survey’s 19-year history. Job ads from private-sector firms sunk a colossal 59%, while the rate of decline was less severe for public-sector ads at only 6%.

According to consultancy giant Andersen, which uses the figures in the Andersen/NTC Report on Jobs, early indications suggest that demand for staff in December, though falling for the eighth month in succession, declined at a slower pace than at any time since September.

The REC’s report also suggests an easing of conditions since November, anticipating a temporary rise in recruitment early in 2002. However, it forecasts that this will soon give way to further decline.

Explaining the recent sharp decline in recruitment advertising, Andersen points to America’s recession, September 11 and subsequent global developments, and also the launch of the euro.

News sources: Media Week (UK); Andersen website