December gives mixed messages for 2012 recruitment

Recruitment for permanent positions showed mixed fortunes in December, which was the third consecutive month that saw an overall decline in placements - but it did see demand in a few certain sectors grow significantly. 

New statistics from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG have shown an average fall in new permanent placements in December, but six industries saw a greater number of vacancies advertised and filled. 

These sectors included engineering and construction, IT and computing and secretarial/clerical, which all saw very strong recruitment demand, as well as the nursing, medical and care, executive/professional and blue collar sectors. 

The REC's chief executive, Kevin Green, said that there was cautious optimism among many companies and recruiters that 2012 could see a turnaround in recruitment figures. He explained, "In the last month’s survey of employers (JobsOutlook), a total of 71 per cent of them said they still intend to increase their permanent workforces in the coming year."

KPMG's Bernard Brown, cautioned against being overly bright about the future, as discouraging figures for temporary positions indicated that there is still a lot of work to do before a full recruitment recovery. 

"It is a huge concern to see temporary placements falling in tandem with permanent employment opportunities, making it difficult to be optimistic about the employment market in 2012," he said. 

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