Business leaders across the region have welcomed a recruitment report revealing that demand for permanent jobs within the South East is at its highest since 1998.
The Report on Jobs, South, sponsored by the industry professional body, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, contains data from a survey of 150 recruitment and employment consultants across the region.
It found there was also a high level of demand for temporary staff, which added to the growing picture of confidence returning to the economy.
According to the results of the study, there was also signs of average salary growth rising (against the national average salary of £26,000), despite a wider picture of a number of private sector firms and public sector employers having instituted pay freezes over the past few years.
Paul Gresham, senior partner for KPMG in the South East welcomed the report’s results.
He said: “As 2013 draws to a close, confidence is growing as businesses across the region are actively recruiting and the number of job vacancies has reached a 15-year high.
“The South East region has the fastest growing private sector business activity, surpassing even London, which reinforces the confidence that we are seeing in businesses across the region, including increased levels of investment.” “However, while job opportunities may exist, the proportion of available candidates continues to fall. This could indicate the return of the traditional winter slowdown in recruitment as staff are more focused on Christmas.
“As a result employers are trying to tempt top talent to change jobs by offering more in the way of cash or incentives. It’s a tactic that may bring short-term success, but the risk of falsely inflating the jobs market must be considered. Left unchecked, it could put unnecessary and unsustainable pressure on businesses just at the time that their cash flow problems are easing.”