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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 20:51 GMT
Skill shortages drive up salaries
Salaries are rising in the east because companies that need staff cannot get qualified candidates, a study says.

The latest Report on Jobs from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) said demand for skilled staff increased in the last three months of 2005.

Many businesses needed permanent staff because of higher levels of activity.

Results are based on a quarterly survey carried out since 1997 into recruitment and employment agencies in Beds, Cambs, Essex, Herts, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Significant skill shortages were again encountered by recruiters, especially those seeking permanent staff
Jack Kennedy

An EEDA spokesman said that growth of demand picked up in the final months of 2005 after a slower pace in the summer.

The strongest rate of growth in demand was for secretarial and clerical employees.

However, the rate of actual recruitment fell and was below the UK average. The agencies blamed shortages of qualified candidates in the region.

Permanent staff salaries rose for the ninth consecutive quarter with the latest round of pay increases driven by stronger demand for staff and widening skill shortages.

Rising workloads

Hourly pay rates for temporary/contract staff also continued to rise.

Jack Kennedy, economist at NTC who carried out the survey, said: "The latest data shows that the East of England labour market performed solidly in the final quarter of the year.

"Nevertheless, job market conditions in the region remain relatively subdued compared with the rest of the UK.

"Significant skill shortages were again encountered by recruiters, especially those seeking permanent staff.

"This was a boost for temporary staff agencies as many companies instead turned to short-term workers to meet rising workloads."

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