LONDON (Reuters) - Hiring for permanent jobs in Britain gained pace last month and salaries posted the fastest rise in nearly six years, adding to signs of labour market strength which could bring forward a rise in interest rates.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said on Tuesday that its seasonally adjusted index of permanent staff placements rose to 62.2 from 61.3 in August, matching levels common before the financial crisis.
Readings above 50 indicate growth in appointments compared with a month earlier.
Salaries awarded to people placed in permanent positions rose at the fastest pace since February 2008.
“(The) figures show the jobs market continues to be the success story in the UK economy, with all regions and sectors experiencing growth,” said REC chief executive Kevin Green.
“The number of people being placed into permanent roles has now been growing continually for a year.”
The REC survey, co-sponsored by business consultants KPMG, chimes with the predominant view in financial markets that Britain’s central bank will raise interest rates much earlier than it has indicated.
The Bank of England said in August it would keep borrowing costs at 0.5 percent while unemployment remained above 7 percent, something it expected for at least another three years.
The official jobless rate now stands at 7.7 percent.
The Bank also said it would drop its commitment to ultra-low rates if inflation looked likely to get out of control.
Overall vacancies and temporary job placements are rising sharply and pay for temporary workers is also picking up, the REC poll of recruitment agencies found.
That chimes with other recent data, including surveys of purchasing managers in services, manufacturing and construction which showed the fastest rise in employment in six years in September.
REC said demand for permanent and temporary workers was growing. Permanent construction staff were the most sought after as government schemes to encourage house building and infrastructure projects made an impact.
Reporting by Olesya Dmitracova; Editing by Ruth Pitchford