The jobs market is having a “robust” start to the new year following continued increases in permanent and temporary jobs, according to a new report.
Research among 400 recruitment agencies showed that the number of people placed in permanent posts increased last month at the sharpest rate for four years, while temporary placements rose at the fastest pace for 15 years.
The increase in vacancies was close to a 15-year high, while the most positive picture for jobs was in the Midlands, said the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.
The availability of staff for permanent jobs fell in December, it was reported.
Kate Shoesmith, head of policy at REC, said: “The UK labour market is starting the new year in robust form. Our latest figures show sharp growth in the number of people finding new permanent jobs and the most rapid rise in starting salaries since October 2007.
“Increasing demand for temp workers has driven up hourly pay rates for agency workers for the 11th month on the trot. Growing confidence means more and more employers are willing to invest in their workforce and take on more people.
“The real concern now is the mismatch between demand and supply, with recruiters reporting that they can’t source suitable candidates for vacancies in a whole range of sectors.”
Bernard Brown of KPMG said: “Combine the latest job figures with news that business confidence has reached a new high and it’s easy to share the renewed sense of optimism amongst employers.
“Little wonder there is speculation suggesting Mark Carney (Bank of England governor) might revise the unemployment benchmark at which an interest rate rise will be considered.”