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Recruitment agencies in the UK have seen the fastest rise in job placements this month at any time in the last 12 years.

Recruitment firms, admittedly a somewhat optimistic group, claim the strongest growth in permanent positions since October 1997. Recruiters are also seeing more demand for temporary staff.

Salaries for permanent staff rose in March and temporary staff also saw a more modest rise, according to KPMG's survey.

But much of the rise comes from the public sector, an area likely to come under increasing pressure to cut spending in coming months.

Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG said: "The UK jobs market seems to be going from strength to strength with permanent job placements growing at the fastest rate for over 12 years. These figures show that private sector confidence is returning and that the UK is exiting recession at a pace. However, a lot of the current hiring activity is going on in the public sector. The public sector recession which clearly is on the cards hasn't hit the jobs market yet but when it does, the upwards trend we have seen over the last couple of months may come to a halt."

The figures come from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation's monthly survey of 400 recruitment agencies. The full release is here. ®

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