A survey report released on Wednesday shows employers have hired to fill in permanent vacancies at the fastest speed in six months in January, indicating growing business confidence.
The survey, conducted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said: “Permanent staff placements and temporary/contract staff billings both rose at faster rates in January”, in its report.
In January, the REC/KPMG permanent placements index rose to 57.4 – highest in six months from 54.9 in December. The temporary placements index rose to a seven months high of 56.5 from 52.8 recorded in December.
The index is made up of 400 companies and any reading above 50 indicates net hiring for the month surveyed.
The coalition government is hoping that the economy will gather pace and the private sector will be able to add extra jobs as government spending cut starts to show its impact this year.
Bernard Brown – Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG – the sponsor of the survey said: “The latest figures are encouraging”. However, he added on a cautious note “it is too early to speculate whether these are the signs of a private sector-led recovery. With looming public sector job cuts, the VAT [Value Added Tax] rise and slowing economic growth, the job market is likely to remain volatile over the coming months”.
The rate of growth of salaries for permanent staffs slowed down a little in January although they continued with their growth momentum. However, for temporary staffers, salary growth was negative.
The January pay index dropped to 54.1 from 54.5 in December. The drop was steeper for temporary employees with the index recorded at 49.5 from 51.3 recorded in December.