Staff appointments continued to rise at a steady pace last month, with permanent placements rising at their quickest pace for three months, but uncertain times up ahead for recruiters

Hayley Kirton
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The job market may be strong at the moment but REC's chief executive warns of uncertain times ahead (Source: Getty)

The UK's job market looked strong last month, with permanent placements increasing at their fastest rate for three months, a report released today has found.

According to the Report on Jobs by Markit and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), just less than half (44.8 per cent) of the 400 recruitment and employment consultancies questioned said they had placed more people into permanent positions in February than they had in January.

Demand for workers remained sturdy too, with the rate of vacancy growth reaching a six-month high.

Salaries for those seeking out permanent employment were also strong, with 22.9 per cent of those questioned saying they had seen average salaries awarded increase compared to the month before and 72.2 per cent saying that pay packets had stayed roughly the same.

"The UK labour market is at a critical juncture," remarked Kevin Green, chief executive of REC. "Permanent hiring improved last month, demand for staff remains strong, and pay is going in the right direction – but serious threats are looming just around the corner."

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Green also cautioned that the introduction of National Living Wage next month, the beginning of the new income tax year on 6 April and the upcoming EU referendum in June was creating an uncertain environment for the UK's employers.

Green continued: "Global economic headwinds only add to the uncertainty around what the months ahead hold, and the REC calls on the government to avoid further destabilising the UK jobs market in next week's Budget."

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