THE NUMBER of people in work increased at a faster rate in December, new figures show.
Recruitment consultants reported further rises in permanent staff appointments during December, according to a report from consultants KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Federation (REC).
The index for the number of new permanent staff appointments rose to 59 in December from November’s 56.9. An index value above 50 indicates growth.
However, the number of job vacancies open to people seeking permanent work climbed at the slowest pace since July 2013, with an index score of 62.5.
Short-term staff appointments grew at a sharper rate in December, with an index value of 62.3 up from 61.8 in November.
Average starting salaries for permanent jobs continued to increase at a strong pace with an index value of 62.3, marginally lower than 62.5 in November.
“As we enter 2015 the jobs market continues its strong performance. Recruiters are helping an increasing number of businesses find new permanent employees, and skills shortages in most areas of the economy mean that competition for quality candidates is driving up starting salaries,” said REC chief executive Kevin Green.