New appointments are on the rise in the Midlands, raising hopes of a fresh feelgood factor amongst employers across the region.
The upbeat trend of permanent placements rising “at substantial pace” is revealed in The Report on Jobs: Midlands from business advisers KPMG.
The KPMG report said: “As had been the case in February, permanent placements in the Midlands increased in March. Moreover, the rate of expansion was sharp and much faster than that seen across the UK as a whole.
“Some respondents indicated that changes to Agency Workers Regulations had partly led to the rise. Temporary billings also increased in March, ending a two-month sequence of reduction. Furthermore, the rise was solid, and the fastest since July 2011. Growth of temporary billings in the Midlands contrasted with a fall at the UK level.
“Of the monitored regions, the strongest increase in permanent placements was recorded in the Midlands, closely followed by the South.
“March data signalled a ninth successive increase in the number of permanent candidates in the Midlands. Moreover, the latest rise in candidate numbers was marked, and the fastest recorded in 2012 so far. The improvement in the region was also stronger than the UK economy average.”
Steve Hollis, chairman of KPMG in the Midlands, said: “If growth in appointments is an indicator of improving regional economic health, we have much to be upbeat about in the Midlands given March was the third consecutive month in which the region experienced a healthy rise, above the UK average.
“While recruitment consultants in other regions have reported skills shortages in certain sectors, which could be holding back economic growth, those in the Midlands have no such complaints.
“Whether this is simply due to the slightly larger pool of available labour in this region compared to other parts of the UK, or a better structural match of skills to opportunities will become clearer over time as the macro economy turns a corner.”