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UK hiring rise in new sign of post-election pickup

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British companies hired permanent staff in January at the fastest rate in just over a year and shops reported the biggest increase in sales since 2014, according to two surveys which added to signs of a post-election bounce in the economy.

[LONDON] British companies hired permanent staff in January at the fastest rate in just over a year and shops reported the biggest increase in sales since 2014, according to two surveys which added to signs of a post-election bounce in the economy.

The index of permanent job placements from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and accountants KPMG hit its highest level since December 2018 at 52.3, up from 51.9 in December.

The survey chimed with other signals of the economy perking up in early 2020 following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's sweeping election win on Dec 12, after a near standstill in late 2019.

Last week, the Bank of England decided against cutting interest rates as it waited to see if the signs of a recovery translate into a pickup in economic growth.

"It's good to see that businesses have grown in confidence over the past two months and taken the opportunity to restart hiring," REC chief executive Neil Carberry said.

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There were also some less positive signals in REC's survey.

Starting salaries for permanent staff grew at the slowest rate since July 2016, immediately after the Brexit referendum.

The REC report also showed temporary staff hiring fell for the first time since 2013, possibly reflecting concerns about reforms aimed at tackling tax avoidance that are likely to affect temporary workers.

REUTERS

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