'Strong year' for UK labour market
Recruitment agencies continued to place more people in jobs last month, but the rate of growth has slowed and skills shortages are getting worse, a new study has shown.
Starting salaries have also continued to increase, including pay for temporary staff, said the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
Chief executive Kevin Green said: "It's been a strong year for the UK labour market and it's a sign of continuing business confidence that employers are expanding their permanent workforces and are prepared to make more generous offers to new recruits to attract the right people. Over a quarter of recruiters say that starting salaries for equivalent jobs are getting better by the month, driven by competition between employers for quality candidates.
"If there's a cloud on the horizon for 2015 it's the intensifying skills shortages which now spans many sectors and is particularly acute in high-skilled areas like engineering, IT and medicine. It's not just about graduates, vacancies for skilled manual jobs are getting harder to fill as well.
"The shortage of licensed HGV drivers and forklift operators could mean retailers struggle to meet the Christmas demand generated by Cyber Monday and eager shoppers on the high streets."
Bernard Brown of KPMG, which helped with the study, warned of a possible "negative trend" on jobs.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said: "The UK labour market is getting stronger, with record numbers of people in work and more women making the choice to go into work than ever before.
"We will continue to stick to our long-term economic plan, which has helped enterprising businesses up and down the country to create jobs with two million more people working in the private sector since 2010.
"Behind these record figures, there are countless stories of individual hard work and determination and of families who are now feeling more secure over the Christmas period."