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Permanent recruitment rises across London and the South

Recruitment of permanent staff increased across London in October to end eight months of decline, while the rest of the South saw hiring accelerate to the fastest pace since March.

A survey of recruitment and employment consultants for KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) shows that the hiring of permanent employees in the capital increased at the fastest pace since May 2011 last month.

However, the growth in recruitment was slower than both the North of England and the UK as a whole.

Meanwhile, demand for permanent staff in London rose for the first time in six months, although the rate was again much slower than national level.

The availability of candidates for permanent posts declined, although the report said that it was only a modest fall after five months of increases. Across the country, the availability of candidates for permanent roles continued to increase, but the rate of growth was the slowest since May.

London also saw an increase in the hiring of temporary staff during October, but the pace of growth was the slowest of any UK region. Growth was strongest in the Midlands.

Meanwhile, vacancies for temporary staff decreased in London, bucking the trend seen across the rest of the UK, where there was a marked and accelerated increase.

On the pay front, starting salaries for permanent staff in the capital fell for the third month running, making London the only region in the UK where starting pay fell. The sharpest rises in pay were in the North and the rest of the South.

In addition, London was the only region where hourly rates for temporary staff fell during October, although the rate of decline was the slowest since May.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said, "The positive performance we've seen from the UK jobs market over the past year is accelerating, with increases in the number of people placed into both temporary and permanent work in London last month.

"The rise in the number of workers placed into temporary jobs in London and across the UK is a sure sign British bosses understand the business case for using a flexible workforce to handle fluctuating demand and costs effectively. More people engaging in flexible work is a trend that’s going to increase in our post-recession economy."

Across the rest of the South, permanent placements rose for the third month in a row and at the fastest pace in seven months.

There was also a fourth consecutive rise in temporary appointments, with the rate of growth climbing at the sharpest pace in 12 months.

Availability of permanent staff increased for the second month in a row, following five months of declining labour supply, the longest contraction in four years.

There was also an increase in the availability of temp staff, although the rate of growth was slowed compared with both August and September.

Pay growth for new starters in permanent roles picked up for the fourth month in a row and at the strongest pace since April 2011.

Hourly rates of pay for staff in temporary and contract employment rose for the seventh successive month at the same level as September's eight-month high.

By Andy Jowett

Permanent recruitment rises across London and the South
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