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The availability of candidates fell at a quicker pace in January, subsequently creating high demand for workers as well as pay growth.

The KPMG and REC’s latest UK Report on Jobs revealed that the easing of pandemic restrictions, improved market confidence and strong demand for workers drove a further steep increase in recruitment activity across the UK.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, commented on the findings, “The jobs market is still growing strongly at the start of 2022. Recruiters are working hard to place people into work as demand from employers continues to rise.

“With competition for staff still hot, companies are having to raise pay rates for new starters to attract the best people. And the cost of living crisis means there is also more pressure from jobseekers who want a pay rise.

“But pay is not the only important factor – companies must think about all aspects of their offer to candidates to ensure they get the staff they need. This will be important as firms’ spending is under pressure from inflation as well.”

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Claire Warnes, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, added, “The new year has seen the jobs market continuing where it left off, with a steep climb in permanent and temporary hiring. Meanwhile, a sustained decline in the number of suitable candidates has pushed starting salaries up for yet another month.

“Some sectors are continuing to show the strain of high demand for permanent and temporary roles. In particular, the IT and Computing, and Nursing, Healthcare and Medical sectors saw the greatest vacancy increases for yet another month, reflecting the significant workforce and skills challenges which these sectors have faced, and which the pandemic has accelerated.”

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