U.K. Job Vacancies Drop Most in a Decade, BDO Says

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(Bloomberg) -- U.K. job postings fell by the most in a decade last year as Brexit uncertainty whipsawed business planning, according to a report from BDO.

Vacancies fell by 59,000 in 2019, the most since the 2009 financial crisis, though overall employment levels remained “strong,” the accounting and business advisory firm said in a report published Monday.

Its business optimism index, which weighs economic data against U.K. business surveys, was flat between November and December. British employers are looking for more clarity on how the newly elected government plans to leave the European Union.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won the biggest majority for the party in more than three decades in a decisive general election victory last month. That gave Johnson a mandate to pull the U.K. out of the European Union after more than three years of gridlock as Parliament failed to commit to the withdrawal agreement.

The “figures show the tricky economic landscape that the new Government must contend with,” said Peter Hemington, a partner at BDO, in the report. “Their key challenge must be to find a way to kickstart growth in 2020. Post-election changes in optimism take a while to feed through, even where the result is decisive as this.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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