UK job appointments rise at fastest rate for 28 months

November saw the fastest rise in permanent job appointments for 28 months, while temporary jobs also increased rapidly – rising at the quickest rate for 19 months, research revealed today.

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs said the higher placements were underpinned by a “robust and accelerated rise in job vacancies” during November.

It marks the third consecutive month of growth after strong figures last month.

Nursing/medical/care was the most in-demand category of permanent staff, while engineering/construction employees were the most sought-after temps.

Permanent staff salaries rose for the first time in 15 months in November, albeit only modestly. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract continued to fall, but the latest drop was the weakest in the current 14-month period of decline.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said: “This is very positive news. Employers in nearly all sectors are lifting recruitment freezes and starting to hire again.

“Flexibility in the UK’s labour market has proved effective in ensuring that unemployment has not reached the levels experienced by some of our international competitors. While UK output has shrunk by 5.9%, employment has declined by only 2%.”

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, added: “Looking at the latest data, one might get the impression that the recession is over. Confidence has definitely returned to the private sector and the UK jobs market looks healthier today than at any time in the last two-and-a- half years.

“However, we are still to see the impact of the government’s anticipated public sector cuts on the jobs market, which will play out over the next 12 to 18 months.

The recovery in the jobs market will create challenges for HR departments, experts warned this week, with staff who have grabbed ‘stop-gap’ jobs or are demotivated following redundancy looking to switch jobs as soon as they can.

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