The Report on Jobs from agency body REC also showed that the availablity of contractors to fill temporary positions continued to increase in the last month although the rate of growth has eased.
On rates, recruitment agencies indicated broadly flat trends in August, with hourly pay rates registered a negligible decrease while permanent staff salaries rose only fractionally.
Growth of temporary/contract staff billings was fastest in the Midlands during the latest month. Expansions in London, the North and the South were only marginal.
As has been predicted, the public sector continued to be in the doldrums for contractors as the decline in vacancies fell further, but in contrast demand from the private sector rose, with the stronger rate of expansion signalled for short-term employees.
REC's Chief Executive Kevin Green said: “This month’s data shows yet again the remarkable level of resilience within the UK labour market as it continues to outperform predictions.
“The World Economic Forum highlighted that one of the UK’s key competitive advantages is our job market flexibility – and it’s clear that being one of the most flexible labour markets in Europe has helped the UK avoid the high levels of unemployment experienced elsewhere on the continent.
“Recruiters tell us the first rise in the placement of temp workers in nine months is because employers are calling on that flexibility offered by agency staff as a way to grow to meet recent increases in demand, like that seen last month in the service sector. It’s also a sign that changes to Agency Worker Regulations last year have not resulted in any significant negative impact on the market for temporary labour as some predicted they would.
“Continued growth in candidate availability and vacancy growth are both good indicators for a recovery, although it’s too soon to say we’re out of the woods yet. We think the fall in people placed into permanent work for the past three months is down to a certain ‘stickiness’ in the recruitment process – employer confidence remains fragile and hiring decisions are taking longer than in boom times, slowing down the process of getting people into jobs.”
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2012