Recruitment firms continue to place more people in jobs, as permanent and temporary appointments accelerate ahead in July

July was a highly productive month for recruitment firms across the country as they continued to place more people in jobs.

New research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (Rec) and KPMG paints a positive picture of the employment market, giving fresh hope to those who are currently out of work.

Permanent staff appointments have risen at the fastest rate for three years, while temporary placements have accelerated to a two-year high.

Vacancies, meanwhile, rose to a six-year high in July, although there was a fall in the availability of candidates.

Starting salaries improved considerably during the period to reach a 26-month high, plus hourly rates for temp workers increased at the strongest rate since January 2008.

Kevin Green, Rec chief executive, attributed the "impressive" set of figures to a combination of confidence returning to the UK economy and higher employer demand.

Referring to the increase in starting salaries, he said: "This is an early indicator of increased competition for candidates and skills shortages in a growing number of sectors.

"We anticipate starting salaries increasing over the coming months as the economy strengthens and competition to secure talent hots up."

The research comes as the Bank of England (BoE) pledged that interest rates will not rise from their record 0.5% low until more than 750,000 new jobs have been created - in a radical step to bolster the economy.

New Bank governor Mark Carney told households and businesses to not expect rate rises for at least the next three years.

Only when the unemployment drops to 7% will the BoE consider raising interest rates, although this is also dependant on stable inflation.

Mr Carney said "a renewed recovery is now under way" in the UK as the Bank hiked its growth forecasts following a flurry of recent upbeat economic figures.

He claims higher employment and incomes would "represent real improvements in the lives of people across the nation" - and this is something he hopes can be achieved as soon as possible.

Bernard Brown, of KPMG, echoed these sentiments and believes there are signs that the country is heading down the right path.

"With house price and service sector figures moving in an upward direction, indications are that the economy is getting stronger," he said.

Copyright Press Association 2013