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Labour market 'out of intensive care'

Demand for new staff is at the highest rate for two years as the economy begins to recover, a survey of recruitment agencies has revealed.


The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which runs the monthly survey along with accountants KPMG, said research among 400 recruitment and employment consultancies showed permanent staff placements increased for the sixth month running in January.


Jobs for temporary staff also increased, although at a lower rate than in December.

"The labour market is out of intensive care, but it is still in a fragile state," said REC chief executive Kevin Green.

He added a note of caution, saying the recovery was tentative and could be damaged by higher employment taxes or more regulation.

The Office for National Statistics reported that the unemployment rate eased to 7.8% in the three months to November compared to 7.9% in the three months to October.

Unemployment has risen less in Britain than in many other countries which exited recession earlier -- something economists attribute in part to greater wage flexibility than in previous downturns.


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