Boom in vacancies in January brings hope for the unemployed

 
Ben Southwood
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THE EMPLOYMENT boom was still continuing apace in January, according to figures released this morning.

Both temporary and permanent jobs were being added during the first month of 2013, KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said, while vacancies were also on the up.

Temporary billings increased for the sixth month in a row, the two bodies said, with a seasonally-adjusted index value running at 55.5 – up from 54.8 in December, and further above the crucial 50 value that indicates no change.

Permanent job appointments were increasing slightly more slowly, with an index at 53.2, but this figure was still enough to suggest substantial improvement in already-booming employment.

And demand for further staff was still improving, despite firms already absorbing new staff. The KPMG/REC vacancy index edged from 56.9 in December to 57.0 in January, indicating rapid improvement.

The index for permanent private sector roles soared from 57.7 to 61.1, suggesting firms are adding to vacancy listings at a breakneck speed.

“Amid the doom and gloom caused by predictions of slow growth, the hiring figures for January should give employers and employees plenty of reasons to be cheerful,” said Bernard Brown at KPMG.

“Demand for staff is at its highest peak for almost two years meaning that employees who may have been too nervous to change jobs in recent months, might consider the benefits of a fresh challenge.”