UK Employers Hire Temp Staff at Fastest Rate!

UK employers hire temp staff at fastest rate in 15 years – REC. LONDON (Reuters) – British employers hired temporary staff at the fastest rate in more than 15 years in December, an industry survey showed on Thursday, suggesting that strong job creation continued through to the end of 2013.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) survey also said that firms hired permanent staff at the fastest rate since March 2010, increasing the chance that unemployment will fall to 7 percent sooner than the Bank of England expects.

The survey also suggested wages are rising more quickly.

“Growing confidence means more and more employers are willing to invest in their workforce and take on more people,” said Kate Shoesmith, the REC’s director of policy.

The Bank committed in August to keep interest rates at a record-low 0.5 percent at least until joblessness falls to 7 percent, something it thought might take three years.

But unemployment has fallen much faster than the Bank forecast, reaching 7.4 percent in the three months to October, and prompting the central bank to predict it could hit 7 percent as early as the end of this year.

But the data does suggest that the labour market is tightening, with the biggest decline in the availability of permanent staff since November 2004.

“The real concern now is the mismatch between demand and supply with recruiters reporting that they can’t source suitable candidates for vacancies,” Shoesmith said, citing shortages of accountants and sales staff.

The survey also showed the biggest rise in starting salaries since October 2007, in welcome news to many Britons whose wages rose by less than half the rate of inflation last year.