UK hiring for permanent jobs grows rapidly

UK hiring for permanent jobs grows rapidly

2015-03-06 14:02

London - The number of Britons finding permanent jobs through recruitment agencies grew in February at the fastest pace since October and stiff competition for candidates continued to push up starting salaries, a survey showed on Friday.

The monthly survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation showed the volume of permanent placements made by its members last month hit a four-month high in February, helped by improving demand across British businesses.

The survey is the latest in a string of surveys to suggest Britain's economy started 2015 strongly - good news for Prime Minister David Cameron two months before the next national election.

"Recruiters are reporting talent shortages across the economy as businesses expand in response to increasing demand. This is a major challenge for employers. However, those seeking work are feeling the benefit," said RE chief executive Kevin Green.

He said there was a risk that skill shortages will threaten economic growth at some stage.

Competition for staff continued to drive up starting salaries at the same strong rate seen in January. Pay for temporary staff increased at a faster rate in February.

The RE findings give a more upbeat picture than official wage data. They will interest Bank of England officials as they gauge when to begin raising interest rates after six years at record low levels.

Last month, BoE Governor Mark Carney warned employers not to use near-zero inflation as an excuse to offer staff low wage settlements.

The recent rise in wages has bolstered expectations that Britain's recovery is finally becoming self-sustaining after the financial crisis of 2007-09.

Average weekly earnings rose by an annual 2.1% in the three months to December, according to official data, outstripping inflation by the biggest amount since April 2008.