UK job appointments see largest rise for nearly two-and-a-half years

The number of permanent job placements continued to rise in December, with the largest increase for nearly two-and-a-half years.

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs found permanent placements rose to 62.8 in December from 61.7 in November – the fifth consecutive month the figure has been above 50, which separates growth from contraction, and the highest level since July 2007.

The index of temporary staff placements also increased to 59.7 from 56.1 in November, representing a 30-month high.

Average salaries for permanent staff rose for the second consecutive month from 51.9 in November to 53.7, Reuters has reported.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said: “As we head into 2010, the recovery of the UK jobs market is accelerating. Employer confidence is increasing and vacancies are on the up.”

Bernard Brown, KPMG’s head of business services, added: “The jobs market has continued its journey back to health, and the data is certainly encouraging. We now need to see this improvement carried over into 2010 for the jobs recovery to be consolidated.”

But Brown warned the jobs recovery could be damaged by proposed public sector cuts.

He said: “The jobs market has been cushioned in recent years by continued public sector expansion. If this is put into reverse post-election, it could have a significant effect on employment figures.”

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