UK Unemployment Hurts Recruiters

Amongst this week's main movers were recruitment firms, dropping following the latest UK labour market statistics, but all is not necessarily as it seems

Rodney Hobson 14 August, 2015 | 12:58PM
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Just the Job

Shares in recruitment companies Michael Page (MPI), Robert Walters (RWA) and Hays (HAS) took a sharp dip midweek after the latest employment figures. That reaction was overdone and it didn’t take Page long to drive the message home.

Statistics can be tricky things and it is very easy to distort the picture. Hence the general view that you should not take too much notice of one month’s figures because any aberration may be just a blip. However, news that unemployment had risen for a second consecutive month in June brought an attack of nerves. Could the UK economic recovery be hitting the buffers?

A closer look at the figures suggests no. These are quarterly rolling figures, a method of calculation that brings its own distortion. It looks as if the jobless rise came in April and May and that unemployment actually fell in June, so it is likely that there was a lull in recruitment ahead of the election and a picking up of the slack since.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Rating
Balfour Beatty PLC257.20 GBX-0.16
Hays PLC164.00 GBX0.99
PageGroup PLC661.00 GBX1.15
Robert Walters PLC800.00 GBX0.00

About Author

Rodney Hobson

Rodney Hobson  is a columnist for Morningstar.co.uk and author of several investing books, including The Dividend Investor and How to Build a Share Portfolio.