Report shows marginal increase in appointments although construction lags behind other sectors

The UK employment market is beginning to improve, according to new figures which show staff appointments have undergone the first increase since 2007.

The Report On Jobs, published by the REC and KPMG, showed a marginal increase in permanent and temporary staff appointments.

It also indicated that the rate of decline in the number of job vacancies is beginning to ease, along with the decline in pay.

"This is first time we have seen really positive news for the UK jobs market in 17 months," said Bernard Brown from KPMG.

However, engineering and construction is the second weakest sector out of eight categories, with the number of vacancies continuing to decline from last year.

Despite this, an REC spokesperson said: “The fall in vacancies [in construction] is starting to slow down, which could indicate that the industry is beginning to stabilise.”

Jason Campbell, chair of the REC’s Construction Sector Group, added: “The slowing down in the rate of decline, is an encouraging sign but this is a short-term improvement only, construction is not out of the woods yet.

"2010 still looks bleak for building, companies are tendering but are not giving closure. In the long term it is more than likely that we will be in the same situation.”