The latest figures from Rec and the KPMG’s UK Jobs Survey shows renewed hiring confidence among firms as permanent placements saw the biggest rise since September.
The report compiled by IHS Markit contains responses to questionnaires from a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.
In December, it displayed both a rise in temporary and permanent vacancies, with temp billing seeing the sharpest rise since 2018.
These appointments renew confidence in recruitment but do show how companies are opting for short-term contracts with the looming uncertainty of the pandemic and Brexit.
The survey also saw a slight rise in permanent starting salaries and temp wages for the first time since March.
Meanwhile, the availability of workers continued to increase.
Although this was at a much slower rate than in April, with recruiters pinning it to redundancies, and continued worries over job security.
Further trends were also monitored across four regions.
While permanent placements rose in the South of England, London, the Midlands, and the North of England saw a further decline.
However, the South of England, the Midlands and the North of England did all see marked increases in temp billings with only London seeing an extended decrease.
IT/Computing and Nursing/Medical/Care saw the highest rates of expansion, while Hotel/Catering saw the sharpest drop in vacancies.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC said, “The underlying strength of the British economy shone through in the December jobs figures.
“The biggest expansion in temporary recruitment since October 2018 shows how important the flexible jobs market is to that performance.
“Growing permanent placements and starting pay also emphasised the resilience of our economy.
“The important thing now is to maintain as much of that momentum as possible through the new lockdown.
“With business cashflows under renewed pressure, helping employers protect and create jobs is essential.
“We need a long-term plan to support businesses across the supply chain – not just those required to close.
“This should include wider-spread reductions on business rates, support on VAT repayments and support for self-employed business owners previously cut out of schemes.
“We need big-ticket items now, like a reduction in the cost of furlough, and employers National Insurance to help firms retain and hire staff in the coming months, alongside the delivery of the vaccine.
“It underlines the urgency of action needed to help businesses retain workers and get the vaccine delivered.”
James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG comments, “The emergence of a vaccine did bring more confidence to the jobs market in December.
“With the UK leading the way on the vaccine roll out and continued government financial support, there is hopefully light at the end of the tunnel for both business and job seekers.”