Job vacancies increase but competition hots up, says new KPMG/REC report

There has been an increase in the number of job vacancies available in the UK, providing hope that the situation is looking up for UK employment seekers, a new report has shown.

Job vacancies were up last month and demand for temporary workers increased, according to findings published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

However applicants will need to pull out all the stops to impress prospective employers as competition for positions has also increased, the research revealed.

Bernard Brown of KPMG said the figures will represent "hugely encouraging" news for those on the lookout for work, given the higher levels of demand for workers across the country.

And given that "permanent roles are stabilising and temporary positions have seen another month of growth" Mr Brown said many will understandably assume that "the corner is being turned".

But he said that while there are encouraging signs in some parts of the country, significant regional differences mean that a certain degree of caution remains necessary until the upward trend is seen across the whole of the UK.

Growth in the economy itself is key to the sustained recovery of the jobs market, the expert went on to say.

Mr Brown suggested that once economic growth has been achieved in the UK then people can start to envisage a more positive long-term picture for the overall jobs market.

Meanwhile, REC chief executive Kevin Green referred to the UK jobs market's resilience as "remarkable" given the well-publicised economic challenges it has faced and the fact that official figures have classed the situation as a double-dip recession.

And the increased recruitment of temporary workers for two consecutive months may be "a sign of optimism" on the part of employers who are standing themselves in good stead for the possibility of future growth, he continued.

Mr Green added: "It certainly puts paid to any idea that changes to Agency Worker Regulations last year dissuaded British businesses from using temps as a vital component of their workforce."

Copyright Press Association 2012