Growth in permanent jobs shows firms are more upbeat, Plymouth expert says
THE number of permanent jobs picked up in February, a new report says.
The Report on Jobs: South of England, which covers Plymouth and the South West but not London, also showed February saw the strongest gain in permanent staff placements since October and that starting salaries continue to rise at a "solid pace"
The report is compiled from original data from a survey of recruitment and employment consultants throughout the South and is designed to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to labour market trends.
It revealed the number of people placed in permanent jobs by recruitment consultancies in the South increased for the seventh month in a row in February.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The rate of expansion recovered from January's marginal pace, and was in line with the long-run survey average.
However, agencies' billings from employment of temporary/contract staff fell for the first time in eight months.
The pace of decline was only marginal, however, and contrasted with a modest increase across the UK.
Average starting salaries awarded to successful candidates placed in permanent positions increased for the eighth month running in February.
The rate of inflation eased slightly since January, but remained sharper than the average for 2012.
Continuing the trend shown since April 2012, hourly rates of pay for staff in temporary/contract employment rose in February. The pace of growth slowed, however, to the weakest in six months.
Ian Brokenshire, KPMG's Office senior partner in Plymouth said: "The solid rise in the number of people finding permanent jobs in the South is hopefully an indication that businesses in the region are remaining upbeat about their prospects for the months ahead and are confident to make long-term investments in their workforce. It's also positive that wages have risen again. These enhanced salaries may encourage more people to 'trade up' and go for promotion opportunities, and in turn drive some wider momentum within the region's job market.
"However, while the data shows we're moving in the right direction, recovery remains shaky. After all, employers will only keep recruiting if they are confident they can afford to take on new staff and this is linked to how they perceive the economy to be fairing.
"Long-term, sustainable improvement in the employment market remains dependent on the growth of the economy as a whole.
"Until this happens we are likely to see a continuation of this scenario, where two steps forward are followed by one step back.
"In other words, recovery may be on the way, but it is a long path and one negotiated by very small steps.
"The forthcoming Budget will play a crucial role in underpinning, or undermining, business confidence.
"All eyes are on the Chancellor to see if he can deliver measures to kick-start growth."
Tom Hadley, director of policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), said: "Competition for candidates intensified this month with private sector employers racing to secure the talent they need for growth from a decreasing pool of skilled workers.
"Starting salaries have also risen as companies realise they need to make more attractive offers to ensure they can persuade workers to join their workforce and not their rivals."
Find a job at our Get Hired Expo at the Guildhall tomorrow