UK staff appointments increase at fastest rate for over two years
July survey data indicated that permanent placements increased to the greatest extent in 27 months.
At the same time, growth in temp billings improved to a near two-and-a-half year high.
Recruitment agencies signalled a sustained and marked increase in demand for staff.
Furthermore, overall demand for staff rose at its joint-strongest pace for 23 months (on par with May 2017).
The availability of both permanent and temporary workers continued to fall sharply during July.
The rate of reduction eased for permanent staff, but the availability of temporary candidates declined at the quickest pace for just over a year-and-a-half. Starting salaries for successful permanent candidates rose further in July, with the rate of inflation reaching a 20-month record.
At the same time, hourly pay rates for short-term staff continued to increase sharply.
The strongest upturn in permanent placements was recorded in the Midlands, closely followed by the North of England.
The weakest increase was seen in London, where growth softened to an eight-month low.
All monitored regions saw sharp increases in temp billings during July, led by the North of England.
The demand for staff across the private sector continued to outpace that recorded for the public sector in July.
The number of vacancies at private sector companies increased sharply overall, with growth picking up slightly since June.
However, growth in demand for both temporary and permanent workers softened across the public sector.
July survey data signalled sharp increases in demand for permanent workers across all monitored job categories, led by Engineering.
Accounting/Financial and IT & Computing achieved second and third place in the rankings, respectively.
Blue Collar recorded the quickest upturn in temporary staff demand of all nine job categories in July.
Hotel & Catering and Nursing/Medical/Care also saw steep increases in demand, while Executive/Professional placed at the bottom of the table. ■