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UK Hiring Improves Strongly On Lockdown Easing Plans: Survey

UK recruitment activity improved sharply in March on hopes of a return to normal operations as the government announced plans to ease the coronavirus pandemic-linked lockdown measures.

Permanent placement growth hit a near six-year high, while temp billings expanded at the quickest rate since November 2017, results of the latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey showed Thursday.

IHS Markit collected the survey data from March 12 to 25.

Vacancies expanded at the quickest pace since August 2018 and there were signs of improving pay trends, with both stating salaries and temp wages expanding for the first time in three months, the survey found.

Due to concerns over how secure any new employment would be, the availability of candidates remained broadly stagnant.

"The strong temporary recruitment trend of the past few months has been maintained, but with a new addition - the fastest increase in permanent job placements since 2015," Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said.

"Taken together with a long awaited recovery in hiring in London, this is a sign that business confidence is starting to flow back, even at this early stage of unlocking."

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