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UK — Growth of staff appointments remained strong in April despite easing

05 May 2010

The latest Report on Jobs published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG based on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies, highlights further marked increases in both permanent and temporary/contract staff appointments during April 2010, albeit at slower rates compared with March 2010.

Permanent staff placements continued to rise strongly in April, albeit at a slower pace than March's peak. Similarly, growth of agencies' short-term staff billings remained substantial despite easing from a thirty-four month high.

Higher staff appointments were underpinned by a further expansion of demand for staff during April. Growth of permanent vacancies was only just weaker than February's thirty-one month high, while temporary/contract staff vacancies increased at the sharpest rate since January 2008.

The availability of staff to fill job vacancies continued to rise in April. However, the latest increases in both permanent and temporary/contract staff availability were slower than in the previous month.

Recruitment consultants reported another increase in permanent staff salaries in April. Moreover, the rate of inflation was the sharpest since March 2008.

Temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates increased at the fastest pace for just over two years.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said "May's Report on Jobs highlights continued growth in both temporary and permanent employment, although the rate of growth has slowed slightly compared to previous months. The first test of the new administration will be to nurture the slowly improving but fragile jobs market."

"The incoming Government must address two immediate priorities, stimulating jobs growth and reducing expenditure without creating a public sector recession through shedding thousands of posts. Private sector employers have used short-time work, sabbaticals and pay freezes as a means of reducing costs whilst retaining high-performing staff. Innovative resourcing strategies will be equally crucial within the public sector."

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG, commented "the latest figures show that the UK jobs market is continuing on the road to recovery albeit at a slower pace than the previous month. While the UK's gradual emergence from recession is starting to lead to better job prospects in the private sector, many public sector employers have finally woken up to the scale of the financial challenge that is coming their way."

"It is now becoming increasingly clear that the long predicted public sector recession has started to hit the jobs market and therefore the upwards trend we have seen over the last couple of months may come to a halt."



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