Demand for staff strengthens to 13-month high

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Job vacancies have grown at their fastest rate for 13 months, with rises reported for both permanent and temporary positions.

This is according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG’s job data for September, which also found that the rate of growth in appointments of temporary staff was at a 14-month high.

While temporary billings increased for a second month running, the figures, based on data provided by recruitment consultancies, pointed to a marginal fall in permanent placements.

However, the availability of staff and the number of job openings increased for both permanent and short-term roles.

Last week, the CBI said that the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations at the end of last year had led to a reduction in the use of temps during eight out of nine months in 2012.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, argued that the fall was actually down to the financial climate and demand was likely to pick up as the economy grew.

Commenting on today’s figures, he said that the increase in the use of agency workers could be a sign that employers are now “gearing up for growth”.

He said: “The resilience of the UK labour market in the face of what official figures class as a double-dip recession continue to be remarkable.

“However, we know that confidence is fragile and a big external shock could derail us from this promising course.”

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