May 8, 2018 / 6:58 AM / 4 months ago

Adecco Group sees UK permanent staffing bottoming out

ZURICH, May 8 (Reuters) - British companies are hiring full-time staff again as they take the plunge despite continuing jitters over how the country will manage its exit from the European Union, the head of staffing company Adecco Group told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We see that 11 percent of European firms have reduced their UK workforce already, so uncertainty remains even if according to our figures it looks like the permanent (staffing) business has bottomed out," Chief Executive Alain Dehaze said in an interview after first-quarter results.

"Quarter after quarter there is a slight improvement. At some point companies have to hire again. You cannot freeze activities indefinitely."

Such an environment can benefit companies like Adecco Group that help employers find staff.

"On the one hand for sure it helps because companies tend to hire more temporary solutions to cope with the uncertainty. But at some point you can't wait indefinitely and you need to hire competitively and this is probably what we will see in the quarters to come. At least this will stabilise the decrease we had in the UK," he said.

Dehaze said wage inflation was likely to continue its recent pattern, with price pressure centered on the United States and Germany at around 2 to 4 percent.

He said Adecco Group planned no more significant acquisitions this year after last month buying U.S.-based technology education firm General Assembly. (Reporting by Michael Shields)

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