Report finds starting salaries, recruitment for permanent jobs and ads for temporary roles are all on the up

New job vacancies are appearing at their fastest rate for almost two years, a report has found.

Several categories in the latest labour market report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG give cause for optimism to people seeking jobs in the UK.

The report found the total being recruited for permanent roles had grown for the fourth month running during January and starting salaries increased sharply while the number of adverts for temporary positions had seen their sixth consecutive monthly rise.

And the total number of vacancies for jobs grew at its fastest rate since April 2011, the survey of recruitment consultants found.

According to the recruiters the fastest growth in permanent jobs was seen in the north of England, with the demand for staff continuing to rise during the early part of this year.

And although public sector recruitment for permanent and temporary roles has fallen, the jobs growth has been driven by more healthy hiring activity in the private sector.

With the engineering, IT, computing and construction sectors putting in the strongest calls for full-time workers last month, jobseekers looking for a career in those fields should be the most in demand.

The number being hired in the nursing, medical and care sectors also expanded in January, the report found, with recruitment weakest among those seeking employment in the catering and hotel trades.

Bernard Brown, KPMG partner and its head of business services, said the strong demand for staff may prompt workers who have not wanted to risk changing jobs to now consider taking on a fresh challenge.

And having more qualified and experienced workers looking for new posts could help plug the "skills gap" employers in some sectors have been facing, he said.

The positive news also provided both employers and employees with cause for optimism "amid the doom and gloom caused by predictions of slow growth", he added.

The REC's director of policy and professional services, Tom Hadley, said: "The war for talent has begun."

He said January had seen the steepest rise in starting salaries for more than a year, adding that the employment trends were good news for workers.

Copyright Press Association 2013