UK pay growth for new staff hits more than two-year low in July - REC

FILE PHOTO: Foundry workers pour molten iron into moulds to create new mouldings, gutters and roof tiles to be used during the restoration of Britain's Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben clock tower at the Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax, Britain, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Pay for permanent staff hired in Britain through recruitment agencies rose in July at the slowest rate since April 2017, according to a survey that suggested Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on the labour market.

The monthly report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and accountants KPMG also showed companies reduced the volume of new permanent staff for a fifth month running, albeit at a slower pace than in June.

Overall, the survey added to signs that the labour market, the strongest feature of Britain’s economy over the last few years, may now be on the wane. Last week, the Bank of England said it saw signs of softening, with employment growth .

“Businesses continue to take a cautious approach to hiring as Brexit and economic uncertainty linger,” James Stewart, vice chair at KPMG, said. “Uncertainty is also impacting the supply of labour, as people are choosing to sit tight until the outlook is clearer.”

Official labour market figures covering the three months to June are due on Tuesday.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by Larry King