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Jobs increase but at a subdued pace

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Employers have been taking on both permanent and temporary staff during July at a slightly increased level, but doubts remain about the recovery in the jobs market.

According to the latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), demand for recruits in July grew compared with the previous month. However, the rate of growth was also the slowest since November 2010.

The number of people who secured permanent positions rose from 52.2 in June to 53.4 in July on the REC index (where 50 marks an increase).

Temporary appointments showed a similar moderate improvement, up from 52.1 in June to 52.6 in July.

Although employers are continuing to take on new recruits, the pace of the recovery is not yet sufficient to make a significant impact on unemployment levels.

Kevin Green, the REC’s CEO, said: “This month’s Report on Jobs shows that the rate of jobs growth in July quickened from June’s figures. These figures show that the jobs market is continuing to perform well despite general weakness in the UK economy. 

“We have now had two years of continuous growth and employers are still continuing to hire staff, albeit not in the numbers needed to radically reduce unemployment.”

But Mr Green warned the jobs market still has a long way to go: “Employment is just one per cent off its pre-recession peak but the economy is still struggling at four per cent down in comparison with 2007/2008 figures.

“The UK’s flexible labour market is a key reason why employment is continuing to grow. Employers are using large numbers of temporary workers which, with the Agency Workers Regulations less than two months away from implementation, shows that businesses continue to see the value of using a flexible workforce.”