Cautious employers are relying increasingly on temporary hires.
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Britain's labour market showed some more signs of cooling in January with starting pay for people hired for permanent roles growing at its slowest pace in almost two years, according to a survey of recruitment firms published on Wednesday.
With the Bank of England worried about inflationary heat in the jobs market as it considers when to stop raising interest rates, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said cautious employers were relying increasingly on temporary hires.
Billings for temporary workers last month rose at the fastest pace since September, pushing up pay for those workers.
By contrast, hiring of permanent staff fell and their starting salaries grew at the slowest pace in 21 months, although the rise was still big by historic standards, the survey showed.
There were some signs of increased confidence among employers as the pace of growth in the number of vacancies posted for permanent staff accelerated for the first time in nine months, REC said.
"Taking into account the high level of activity last summer and autumn, when the permanent slowdown started, activity levels for both permanent and temporary roles are still high," REC chief executive Neil Carberry said.
BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said last week that labour market data would be key for understanding how quickly inflation falls. The BoE raised borrowing costs for the 10th time in a row to 4% but hinted it was close to ending its run of rate hikes.
The REC survey, which is sponsored by accountants KPMG, took place between Jan. 12 and Jan. 25 and was based on responses from a panel of 400 recruiters.
(Reporting by William Schomberg; editing by David Milliken)