Tuesday, 7 October 2008

More signs of the times

(By Anthony Miller). I reproduce Steve Ingham’s comment (CEO of staffing firm Michael Page) in his latest trading update (for RNS release click here) as I think it summarises well the current reality: “Market conditions through the third quarter became increasingly challenging. The unprecedented turmoil in the financial sector during September has eroded confidence in the wider economy. This has reduced activity levels and increased the cautionary candidate and client behaviour we started to encounter in the first half of 2008, further reducing our visibility.” Like SAP (see Not a good day to bury bad news), Michael Page is reducing staff by natural attrition, though increased headcount in (still) fast-growing Latin America. They anticipate reducing headcount further “if general market conditions continue to weaken”. No bets on that one, I’m afraid.

And we’re grateful to our good friend George O’Connor at Panmure Gordon for bringing to our attention news that Accenture is to shed some 3-4% of its UK workforce in most services bar IT outsourcing and BPO (Ed. Hint, hint). Good catch, George.

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