The decline in quarterly fees for UK and Ireland could be indicative of a negative outlook for the UK jobs market post Brexit Reuters

Recruitment firm Hays has reported an overall like-for-like growth of 10% in its quarterly fees for the month ended 31 March 2017. This marks the 16<sup>th consecutive quarter of year-on-year fee growth for the firm.

The London-based firm's largest sector comprises of Continental Europe and Rest of the World, which constituted 50% of their fees and recorded a growth of 18%. The Asia Pacific division, representing 24% of the group's fees, experienced a growth of 12%.

However, fees had decreased by 4% for the firm's UK and Ireland division, which constitutes 26% of the group's fees.

The "tough market conditions in the public sector" was attributed to the decline.

The decline for the UK and Ireland division may reflect an anxious jobs market as the fate of EU workers in the region remains uncertain.

Hays has also reflected a positive outlook for its full-year operating profits, which it estimates will lie at the higher end of forecasts between £199m ($249.8m) and £209m.

"We have delivered an all-time quarterly record net fee performance, capitalising on the many growth opportunities around the Group", said chief executive Alistair Cox.

"This gives us confidence to increase our expectations for full year profits, to the top of the current range of market estimates. Growth was broad-based and driven by strong performances in our International businesses. Europe delivered excellent results, led by an all-time record performance in Germany, as we continued to invest in additional headcount. Growth in Australia accelerated further and was strong across all states. In the UK, while the public sector market remained tough, we saw continued signs of improvement in the private sector market."

"Looking ahead, conditions remain good in the vast majority of our markets, notably Australia, Europe and North America. In the UK, market conditions remain in line with the underlying Q3 trends."