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Job vacancy growth hits 15 year high

Sales professionalsThe rate of growth in job vacancies this November was the fastest seen in 15 years, according to the latest survey from the body that represents recruitment firms and HR professionals. Salary growth is also healthy – at a six year high.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) says its job vacancies index, which uses data from 400 recruitment firms, rose to the highest level since July 1998. All four regions (North, South, Midlands, London) have seen job vacancy growth, with the Midlands leading the field with the fastest growth. The strongest demand was for engineers, followed by nursing staff and other medical and care workers. Construction workers were the least in demand.

REC CEO Kevin Green said: “We enter the New Year with job vacancies increasing at the fastest pace in 15 years. The fact that our figures show starting salary growth hitting a six year high, combined with continued skill and talent shortages, indicates that we can expect salaries to increase and job fluidity to accelerate into 2014.”

“REC UK Report on Jobs shows that all sectors, all regions and both the private and public sector are in growth, which is fantastic news for British businesses, the UK economy and people looking for work in 2014.”

Salary acceleration
Growth of permanent staff salaries accelerated further, reaching the strongest rate since November 2007, the report reveals. Temporary/contract staff pay rose at a solid pace that was sharper than in October. The report also showed that growth in salaries for permanent staff was the highest in six years.

Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, one of the report’s sponsors, said there has been a change in sentiment this year: “Six months ago – after almost five years of pain – most employers were wondering just how real the signs of recovery were.

Jobs fear persists

Although demand for staff is high, the availability of candidates to fill permanent and temporary posts fell in November, continuing a recent trend, the report showed.

“It may be that people are still worried about job security but it is more likely that we are seeing a return of the traditional winter slowdown in recruitment as staff are more focused on Christmas than careers,” said Brown.

The report is produced by the research firm Markit and is sponsored by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

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