Permanent job placements in the UK economy have fallen to the lowest level since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York almost seven years ago.
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks confidence in the future of the global economy was profoundly shaken, with stock markets and employment levels dipping dramatically.
Now, however, the present financial crisis is exacting a similar toll, discouraging investment and forcing employment levels downward.
The permanent placement index fell to 44.1 in July, down from 48.2 in June while corresponding vacancies fell to 46.6 from 48.3, according to a report from The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.
"This is yet another worrying set of statistics, confirming that the financial crisis continues to deepen," explained Alan Nolan, a director at KPMG.
"Particularly concerning is the construction sector which usually shows a strong requirement for temporary labour."
Wage inflation for both permanent and temporary staff also fell to a five-year low.
This is likely to provide a meagre comfort to Bank of England policymakers as they meet today to decide the future direction of interest rates.
The government has called on industry to avoid above inflation wage increases in order to tackle growth in the consumer price index (CPI), which presently stands at 3.9 per cent.
The salary index for permanent staff fell to 50.8 in July from 54.1 in June and that for temporary staff fell to 51.1 from 52.4, finds the survey.
"This is a clear indication that the credit crunch has started to reach the jobs market," added Kevin Green, chief executive at the REC.
"Business confidence is low and as a result, employers are becoming much more cautious."