[LONDON] The pay of workers starting permanent jobs in Britain increased by the biggest amount in nine months in April as a shortage of available staff forced companies to offer higher salaries, a monthly survey showed on Friday.
At the same time, hourly rates of pay for temporary and contract workers rose at the fastest pace since July 2007, according to the survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and audit and tax firm KPMG.
The Bank of England is watching closely for signs of a sustained earnings pick-up as it considers when to start raising interest rates from their record low of 0.5 per cent.
Official figures have shown some growth in earnings recently but many workers are still worse off than five years ago taking inflation into account over the period, hampering the campaign of Prime Minister David Cameron for Thursday's national elections.
The REC survey showed the number of Britons finding permanent jobs via recruitment agencies in April grew at the strongest pace in eight months.
But the availability of permanent staff contracted at its sharpest pace in five months, REC said.
Growth in temporary billings was its slowest in six months.
The survey also showed strong hiring of senior executives in April, contrasting with more muted hiring in manufacturing which was often the first sector to stall in tougher economic times, REC said.
Britain's economic recovery slowed in the first three months of the year, according to preliminary data.