UK sees increase in permanent hirings

January saw the first rise in permanent staff appointments since September, new statistics show.


January saw the first rise in permanent staff appointments since September, new statistics show.

January saw the first rise in permanent staff appointments since September, new statistics show.

For the first month of 2012 the measure of permanent staff hiring went into positive territory, growing from 48.5 in December to 51.2, according to the latest Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs.

However, the findings were tapered by the slight fall of agencies’ temporary/contract staff billings for the second successive month.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of Business Services at accountancy firm KPMG, says, ‘Given the continued impasse surrounding the Eurozone and the knock-on effect this has on business confidence, it is a welcome surprise to see a modest increase in the number of permanent job placements across the UK.’

Brown suggests that employers are beginning to accept that they need to have the right people in place to ‘kick-start’ the economy.

The survey, of 400 recruitment and employment agencies, reveals that engineering and construction employees were most in demand during the period while those seeking jobs in the hotel and catering sectors had fewer opportunities.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the RMC, adds, ‘It is particularly encouraging that six out of eight sectors surveyed show growth in demand, including engineering, IT and office professionals.

‘The Report on Jobs also follows better than expected services data from the Purchasing Mangers’ Index, which suggests that confidence is growing amongst consumers as well as businesses.’

The report also concludes that permanent staff salaries rose marginally in January, but at a much slower pace than the long-run series average. For temporary and contract workers, hourly rates of pay increased modestly after a slight dip in December.

Green adds, ‘A major challenge in the jobs market is the disconnect between what employers are looking for and what jobseekers can offer.

‘Better careers guidance is part of the solution, as is increased use of apprenticeships to get young people into employment with vocational skills development.’

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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