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UK – Recruiters place more contract workers

10 December 2012

The upturn in staff placements continued last month with temp billings increasing at the sharpest rate in 20 months across all English regions. The Midlands saw the strongest expansion, according to new research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

It was also good news for permanent placements which grew for the second month in a row.

“Twelve months ago employment prospects were bleak. Today, however, the negative outlook has been replaced by cautious optimism as employers gradually gain confidence to make decisions about the vacancies they want to fill,” said Bernard Brown of KPMG.

Although a job recovery is not certain as the economy remains in a fragile state, the research shows that vacancies picked up at the fastest rate in 19 months. Demand for temporary workers in the private sector was strong while in the public sector demand was up only marginally. 

As in the last 10 months, temporary workers were most sought after in nursing/medical/care professions in November. This was followed by engineering/construction and blue collar roles. A slight decline for temporary staff was seen in executive/professional jobs.

More temporary and contract workers were available in the month, especially in London.  The South also posted a rise, but the Midlands and the North saw marginal fall in staff availability.

“Employer confidence is genuinely bouncing back with businesses feeling more encouraged to hire, which bodes well for the New Year. The reductions in corporation tax and investment in big infrastructure projects announced in the Autumn Statement should help boost confidence even higher and encourage more job creation in 2013,” said REC chief executive, Kevin Green.


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