The number of permanent and temporary appointments grew at a faster rate in January than at any time in the past six and seven months respectively.
This is according to the Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and professional services firm KPMG, which also found the rise in staff appointments reflected an increase in vacancies, with demand for IT and computing workers showing the strongest growth.
Equally, the availability of candidates to fill permanent jobs remained stable and improved for temporary and contract positions.
The survey, of 400 recruitment and employment consultancies, also found that average salaries for permanent staff increased, but pay rates for temporary staff decreased for the first time in four months.
Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, explained that despite a "real bounce" from the previous month's figures for blue collar, engineering and IT jobs, it was too early to speculate whether or not these were signs of a private sector led recovery.
"With looming public sector job cuts, the VAT rise and slowing economic growth, the UK job market is likely to remain volatile over the coming months," Brown warned.
Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC said that the findings suggest that employer confidence, which up until now has been fragile, is finally starting to harden. However, he has called on the Government to focus on finding ways of getting more young people into work.
"While the upcoming Work Programme will focus on the long-term unemployed and those on incapacity benefit, the Government will still need to either incentivise SMEs to take on young people, or provide more career and job-search support to those looking for work."
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