Monthly recruitment figures compiled by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) have shown that January saw the fastest rise in the number of people gaining permanent jobs for six months.
The figures - which were jointly published by REC and financial services firm KPMG - showed that sales recruitment was a particularly active sector, amid overall, pan-industry increased demand for staff.
The recruitment consultants who were surveyed for the report said that employers were encountering growing vacancy levels, creating the greatest increase in opportunities since June last year. They said that the salary levels also rose but that hourly rates of pay for temporary workers showed a slight decrease.
Geoff Newman from online recruitment company Recruitment Genius is experiencing similar demand. “Despite the slow start because people returned to work late, January has been an excellent month. It’s great news companies are recruiting sales people as this is typically a precursor to employing staff in support and fulfilment roles.”
The chief executive of the REC, Kevin Green, said that the figures were prompted by a renewed sense of conviction on the economy.
"Employer confidence, which up until now has been fragile, is finally starting to harden," he said. "This is promising news but there is still a job to be done to ensure that all of society benefits from this renewed optimism."
KPMG's head of business services, Bernard Brown, said that it was too early to make long-term assumptions on the figures, but described the statistics as "encouraging".
"Employers across all sectors have been expanding their workforce in January, with no real pressure building on wage inflation," he said. "Importantly, there was a real bounce from the previous month's figures for blue collar, engineering and IT related jobs."