New REC and KPMG report finds that the number of people placed in temporary jobs has risen for the first time this year

A new report has revealed that the number of people placed in temporary jobs increased for the first time this year in August.

The research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and professional services provider KPMG shows that demand for staff from private companies rose last month, especially in the area of short-term employment.

The REC and KPMG said this shows how "resilient" the UK labour market is in the face of a double-dip recession and it added that this could finally be the beginning of the economic recovery.

An occupational breakdown revealed that healthcare workers were the employees that were most in demand last month.

The report also found that the number of people placed in permanent jobs by recruitment agencies continued to fall in August, although last month's decline was described as a "modest" one.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "This month's data shows yet again the remarkable level of resilience within the UK labour market as it continues to outperform predictions.

"It's clear that being one of the most flexible labour markets in Europe has helped the UK avoid the high levels of unemployment experienced elsewhere on the continent.

"Recruiters tell us the first rise in the placement of temp workers in nine months is because employers are calling on that flexibility offered by agency staff as a way to grow to meet recent increases in demand, like that seen last month in the service sector."

Commenting on the same report, Bernard Brown of KPMG said: "With question marks still hanging over the long-term state of the economy, it would be easy to suggest that an upward curve in the jobs market is nothing more than a blip.

"But the truth is that, in some parts of the country, we are actually seeing a growth in the number of companies recruiting and where there is a decline it is now virtually insignificant."

He added: "It may be slow, but perhaps we are witnessing the first signs of recovery. Temporary placements are also on the up, so the hope must be that employer confidence is returning, that they are looking to the long-term and recruiting for growth."

Copyright Press Association 2012