The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG report on jobs has offered a comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies.

The report found indications of stronger rises in both permanent placements and temp billings during November, following a sustained slowdown in growth over recent months. In both cases, rates of expansion were at three-month highs. Recruitment consultants indicated another increase in overall job vacancies during November, although the latest rise was the slowest for just over a year.

Further rises in both permanent and temp staff pay were recorded in November. However, the rates of inflation remained subdued and weaker than the respective series averages. The availability of staff to fill job vacancies continued to rise in November. The latest increases in permanent and temp staff availability were the strongest in eight and eleven months respectively.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said: “The latest data shows stronger rises in both permanent and temporary placements in November. This is an improvement following a sustained slowdown in growth since April. The jobs market remains fragile – especially in light of the public sector squeeze – but confidence does seem to be returning amongst private sector employers.

“As the jobs market grows, skills and talent shortages are starting to emerge. Our members have identified specific job categories that are already in short supply, including HGV drivers, engineers, IT specialists and chefs. Changes to immigration policy could exacerbate these shortages in the short-term, so we need to build pipelines into growth sectors through better support and guidance to job-seekers and a targeted skills agenda.”

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG comments:

“This is very encouraging news, with the data suggesting that a turning point for the UK jobs market may have been reached as employers across the board are recruiting more people. Confidence among employers is clearly growing as many firms now look to growth in 2011.”

Mr Brown continued: “Whilst government cuts are yet to bite hard in the public sector, the private sector shows resilience in these turbulent times. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue – but if it does, it would suggest that some of the large scale unemployment worries may not materialise.”