Vacancy numbers in IT are helping to drive "modest" growth in the jobs market, according the latest monthly Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs.
The report, based on data collected from recruitment agencies, says staff placements increased in April, continuing the trend seen since the start of 2012. That said, says the report, the "rate of growth was modest and the slowest since January". The rate of jobs growth in the temporary sector was slightly down.
Of the eight categories of permanent staff monitored by the survey, six registered improvements in demand during April. In line with recent trends, the strongest growth was signalled for IT and computing and engineering/construction workers.
On the permanent IT staffing side business analysts, developers, and SAP specialists were in high demand. On the temporary side CAD designers and CRM practitioners were sought after.
Overall, permanent staff salaries continued to show a "broadly flat trend" in April, posting a fractional fall on the month. Hourly rates of pay for temporary/contract staff were up "modestly", said the report.
Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said: “This month’s figures show growth in permanent jobs but at the slowest level since January. This highlights the fragile nature of the UK jobs market at present."
Green added: Employer and consumer confidence are increasing and we anticipate more private sector jobs being created in the second half of the year."
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that job vacancies were down -3.9 percent on an annual basis in the three months to March, a slightly slower decline than the -4.1 percent fall in the three months to February.
Latest available ONS data signalled that internet-based recruitment spending rose by 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. That followed a 1.4 percent increase in the third quarter.