For the second successive month, November witnessed a rise in permanent staff placements according to a report on jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

The REC and KPMG said permanent job placements had risen at their fastest rate for 19 months and hiring of temps was at its strongest since March 2011.

The survey of 400 job agencies also found that permanent staff salaries continued to rise in November, with the rate of inflation the sharpest it had been for 14 months. Temporary pay did also increase, but the rise was minimal.

Demand for staff also climbed to a 19-month high, with robust calls from private sector employers offsetting a weak public sector.

Kevin Green, REC Chief Executive, said:

“Recruiters are reporting another monthly increase in the number of people they have placed into permanent and temporary jobs and it’s beginning to look like an accelerating trend.

“Employer confidence is genuinely bouncing back with businesses feeling more encouraged to hire, which bodes well for the New Year.

“The reductions in corporation tax and investment in big infrastructure projects announced in the Autumn Statement should help boost confidence even higher and encourage more job creation in 2013.”

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

“Twelve months ago employment prospects were bleak. Today, however, the negative outlook has been replaced by cautious optimism as employers gradually gain confidence to make decisions about the vacancies they want to fill.

“Perhaps the Government’s long-term strategy for jobs is beginning to bear fruit.

“With the latest figures hinting that robust demand in business is offsetting weak demand across the public sector, we might just be seeing signs of resilience.”

Brown added:

“But before anyone gets the bunting out, the good news must be seen in the context of a fragile economy that remains susceptible to future shocks.

“Recovery is by no means certain and we need a few more months like this to suggest that emerging trends are translating into a sustained period of growth in employment.”

The latest Lloyds TSB Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) paints a slightly different picture however. It shows that jobs were cut across five of the nine English regions last month amid rising costs and muted demand.

A separate report by John Philpott, Director of The Jobs Economist, suggests that eight million people were short of work in mid-2012, which was 375,000 more than in mid-2011.

Mr Philpott said the overall “work shortage rate” was 23.2 %, three times higher than the headline unemployment rate.

He added:

“Unemployment has not reached the levels feared at the start of the financial crisis, but it’s totally wrong to conclude that the labour market has got off lightly.

“On the contrary, the degree of pain inflicted on the labour market has been as severe as expected. It’s just that the pain has been diffused differently than in previous recessions.”