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Pay for permanent staff rose in the last quarter of 2013 at the quickest rate since July 2007.

The figures comes from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG The Report on Jobs, released today. It also shows unemployment falling further from January this year and candidate availability continuing to decrease at its steepest rate since October 2004.

The national increase of salaries the last three months of last year stood at 1.4%. This is the largest increase since January 2013. Over a quarter (29%) of companies reported offering higher permanent salaries in March 2014 compared to the previous month. This is up from 25.5% in February.

Unemployment fell by 63,000 to 2.33 million in the last quarter of 2013. In January 2014 the unemployment rate stood at 6.9%. This is down from 7.2% in December 2013 and is the lowest it has been since February 2009. Over a third of companies (38.3%) reported having fewer candidates to choose from for permanent roles in March 2014 compared to the previous month.

The number of permanent appointments continues to rise consistently in 2014. In January the number of companies who reported a rise in appointments (49.8%) was the highest in 47 months. The figure was the same for February and only dropped very slightly to 49.7% in March. Only 17.6% of employees say their recruitment decreased from February to March. This is up slightly from February, at 16.5%.

KPMG partner and head of business services Bernard Brown said the results suggest employers are looking to the long-term and candidate should be encouraged.

“It appears that employers are attempting to encourage candidates to move away from the short-term mentality of temporary roles by raising the bar with the starting salaries aligned to permanent positions,” he said. “It’s a welcome sign that employers have enough confidence to commit their balance sheets to long term employment plans.”

SOURCE : Hywel Roberts, HR Magazine

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