Demand for finance staff has increased by 182% in the past six months, according to recruitment consultancy Robert Half Financial Service Group.
The number of candidates placed in finance roles reached a record high in the first half of 2006, compared to the last six months of 2005, the Financial Service Employment Index showed.
The most significant increase in demand was for senior-level candidates, with 67% of all placements in the last quarter being for roles with a salary of £41,000 or more. The number of candidates placed in the £51,000-£60,000 salary bracket rose also by 7% from the previous three months.
Neil Owen, branch manager of Robert Half Financial Services Group said: “We have noticed a significant increase in the demand for candidates across all areas of accounting and finance.
“The data provided by the Financial Services Employment Index is extremely encouraging and reflects a rising optimism within the financial sector.
“Whilst we’ve seen an incremental increase in the demand for financial services professionals quarter on quarter, the most significant increase has been for the higher level positions,” he added.
Six out of 10 of the candidates placed were male and 63% were aged between 25 and 35.