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The REC and KPMG publish latest Report on Jobs

Report on Jobs

Jobs growth maintained at solid pace in December. Faster rise in temp availability.

Key points:

*Growth of permanent placements remained solid despite easing slightly.
Stronger rise in demand for staff.

*Permanent salaries increased at faster pace.

*Improved availability of short-term staff dampened temp pay inflation.

Summary:

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs published today provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

Growth of staff appointments eased slightly.

Permanent staff placements and temporary staff billings both continued to rise in December, but the rates of growth were slightly weaker than the three-month highs recorded in November.

Solid increase in vacancy levels

Demand for staff continued to rise at a solid pace in December. Permanent staff vacancies increased at the sharpest rate in four months, while growth of temp vacancies accelerated to a six-month high.

Weak rise in permanent staff availability...

Although the availability of permanent staff increased for the third month running in December, the latest improvement was only marginal and the slowest in that sequence. Correspondingly, permanent staff salaries rose at a stronger rate as employers competed for skilled candidates.

...but temp availability improved at marked pace

Recruitment consultants reported a stronger improvement in the availability of candidates for temporary/contract jobs in December, with growth the fastest in thirteen months. This acted to constrain temp pay inflation, which remained subdued.

Comments:
Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, says:
While these figures continued to show private sector employment doing well, the next few months will be very tough for the jobs market in the UK. With public sector cuts, the VAT rise and slowing economic growth, we expect to see businesses being much more cautious about hiring in the short term.

We are delighted that the Government is saying it intends to be pro business, pro growth and pro jobs. Well wait to see the proposals in full but addressing the issue of one million young people under 24 not in education or employment is critical for the long term success of our economy and must be a priority for the government in 2011.

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG comments:
The latest data suggests again that the UK job market is on the road to recovery as growth of permanent placements remained solid and demand for staff rose strongly. A look at the sectors indicates that the private sector is mainly responsible for the overall positive picture, with IT and computing as well as executive and professional staff most in demand. Whilst demand has been strong, we are entering a critical phase for the UK job market with two big question marks. First, the impact of government cut backs in public sector spend and employment, which should start to bite over the coming months. Second, the impact of the recent VAT increase and whether this will affect UK consumer demand and job creation.

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