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UK – Temporary workers in high demand, says REC and KPMG

08 November 2012

Temporary workers continued to be in high demand last month with billings rising for the third month in a row due to stronger interest from clients. Short-term billings rose across a number of regions, particularly in the Midlands, as well as the North and South of the country.

The latest report on jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG found that the temp growth rate was the sharpest in 18 months. Permanent staff appointments also increased for the first time since May, suggesting that business confidence is growing.

“The positive performance we’ve seen from the UK jobs market over the past year is accelerating, with increases in the number of people placed into both temporary and permanent work last month,” said REC chief executive Kevin Green.

“We’ve now seen rises in the number of workers placed into temporary jobs for three months in a row. This is a sure sign British bosses understand the business case for using a flexible workforce to handle fluctuating demand and costs effectively. More people engaging in flexible work is a trend that’s going to increase in our post-recession economy.”

Temporary workers were most sought after in nursing, medical and care jobs, followed by engineering and construction roles. Hourly pay rates for short-term workers also increased for the second month running.  

Private sector workers saw a rise in demand during October for both permanent and temporary staff.  Temporary vacancies in the public sector rose only slightly, but for the first time in nearly a year.

“It should come as little surprise that demand for staff is low in the public sector. At least this is being partially off-set with the data showing that private sector workers are seeing a further rise in demand for their services,” said Bernard Brown of KPMG.  

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