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The latest Report on Jobs from Markit and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation shows a six-month high in demand for both permanent and temporary staff, with levels at their highest since May.

Both permanent and temporary placements of candidates are showing strong performance, with faster growth in the temporary market and an eight-month high in permanent recruitment.

With high demand often comes short supply, and the report reflects this too, with agencies reporting a steep drop in the availability of suitable staff.

This is good news for candidates, with a rise in vacancies in many markets, while for employers it means a more challenging market in which a reputable agency could prove crucial to finding the right individuals to fill a role.

During October, the availability of permanent candidates in particular fell at a faster rate than in previous months, although the decline in temporary staff availability was the softest in four months – but still part of a downward trend in candidate numbers.

Placements were up especially in the North, which showed the strongest increase in short-term staff billings and in permanent placements in October, while nationwide recruitment agencies reported sharp rises in vacancies for permanent and temporary roles in the private sector in particular.

Sourcing and Screening candidates made easy

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: “Despite ongoing uncertainty the UK jobs market is thriving again in most areas of the UK. Job vacancies are back to levels not seen since April, and for the third consecutive month recruiters have reported an increase in the amount of people finding permanent jobs.

“This is a great place to be but there are real threats coming over the hill. Candidate availability has been falling for three and a half years. There are more vacancies than there are people to fill them in many sectors, including engineering, construction and healthcare.”

He called on the government to address these shortfalls in qualified candidates by boosting employability skills within education and apprenticeships.

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