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Candidate shortages push starting salary inflation to 53-month record

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Recruitment consultancies in the capital placed more workers into permanent jobs for the fifth month running in December. However, the upturn was modest and the weakest in this sequence. A hesitancy among staff to change career as well as shortages of EU candidates curbed growth, according to survey participants. Softer increases in permanent appointments were also evident in two other English regions, with the South of England bucking the wider trend and recording accelerated growth. At the UK level, the rise was the slowest in 20 months.
December saw the expansion in agencies’ billings received from the employment of short-term staff in London pick-up from November’s recent low. The upturn was stronger than the long-run series average and in line with the UK trend. Anecdotal evidence suggested that additional clients had been secured over the month, leading to the rise in temp billings. On a regional basis, the increase was led by the South of England
Demand for permanent labour in the capital continued to expand sharply at the end of the year. Although the pace of growth moderated to a six-month low, it remained above the UK-wide average. Job vacancies in the South of England increased at a quicker pace, while the upturn in the North of England matched that noted in November.
Temp vacancies in London rose at a pace that was below the national trend. The increase was nevertheless robust by historical standards, despite easing from November. A slower expansion was likewise registered in the Midlands, with growth gathering momentum in the other two English regions.



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