Permanent placements continue to increase

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The number of staff placed in permanent positions in the North of England continued to increase, data for the month of May indicates.

Despite softening further from March’s peak and being below the UK average, the rate of growth was strong in the context of historical data.

Recruitment consultants in the North signalled further growth of temp billings in May, marking a 22-month expansionary sequence.

Having eased to the slowest since last November, the pace of increase was weaker than the UK average for the first time in six months.

Demand for permanent and temporary workers across the North rose in May.

Nevertheless, in both cases the rates of expansion moderated since the previous month and were below their respective averages for the UK as a whole.

Senior partner of KPMG’s Preston office Richard Evans, said: “The rate of new hires in the North is slowing to some degree, which could be interpreted as a warning for the regional economy.

“However, many of the management teams we speak to are hungry for growth, so the pause is likely to reflect the ongoing difficulties that some companies are facing in finding the right talent within a dwindling pool of candidates.

“Meanwhile, temporary billings are reaching nearly two years of persistent growth as Northern human resource departments delve into the flexible labour market to plug short term resource gaps.”