By Marcus Leach

The latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) KPMG Report on Jobs published on Wednesday shows that recruitment consultants have reported further increases in the number of people placed into both permanent and temporary job roles during July.

Rates of growth quickened slightly from June’s lows but remained below long-run trends.

Key points from the Report are:

-Modest rises in permanent placements and temporary billings
-Demand for staff grows at slowest pace in eight months
-Pay growth quickens from June’s low but remains muted
-Faster improvement in candidate availability

Demand for staff continued to rise in July, but the rate of expansion eased further to the slowest for eight months. The most sought-after workers were those in the engineering & construction and IT sectors, while the weakest demand trends were signalled for employees in the hospitality and healthcare categories.

Growth of both permanent salaries and temp hourly rates quickened in July, but remained below their respective averages since the start of the survey in October 1997.

Higher levels of staff availability were reported in July. Permanent candidate supply improved at the sharpest rate for 18 months, while the latest rise in temp availability was the strongest since February.

“This month’s Report on Jobs shows that the rate of jobs growth in July quickened from June’s figures. These figures show that the jobs market is continuing to perform well despite general weakness in the UK economy. We have now had two years of continuous growth and employers are still continuing to hire staff, albeit not in the numbers needed to radically reduce unemployment," Kevin Green, the REC's CEO, said.

“Employment is just one per cent off its pre-recession peak but the economy is still struggling at four per cent down in comparison with 2007/2008 figures. The UK’s flexible labour market is a key reason why employment is continuing to grow. Employers are using large numbers of temporary workers which, with the Agency Workers Regulations less than two months away from implementation, shows that businesses continue to see the value of using a flexible workforce.”

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