UK job market strengthened in December
By Sarah Wood
Britain's job market strengthened for the first time in three months in December, before the renewed lockdown kicked in this week.
A monthly survey of recruiters by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation showed an increase in permanent hiring and a small rise in the number of vacancies, as reported by Reuters.
The organisation attributed the increase to increased business activity and an improvement in market confidence, partly due to the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Growth in permanent hiring remained modest, reflecting ongoing both the ongoing coronavirus crisis and Britain's departure from the European Union.
Demand was strongest for nurses and other medical staff, and weakest for hotels and catering workers, reflecting how Covid has filled up Britain's hospitals and led to the shutdown of most of the hospitality sector.
Many employers preferred to hedge their bets, with spending on temporary staff rising at its fastest rate since October 2018.
Britain's official jobless rate remains at 4.9 per cent for the three months to October, but most economists expect it to rise sharply if government furlough payments stop as planned at the end of April.
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