Recruiters have witnessed a sharp increase in permanent placements in February, according to the latest IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs.

The report reveals that recruiters across the UK have reported a continuing rise in permanent staff placements in February. Although the rise is sharp the rate of expansion moderated slightly since the start of the year while temporary billings rose at a faster rate midway throughout the first quarter.

Although the report shows the demand for staff remained healthy in February, overall growth in demand softened to its slowest in more than a year, while a slower increase in staff vacancies were witnessed for both permanent and temporary positions.

Recruiters reported continuous problems with the availability of suitable staff for permanent and temporary roles in February, however rates of decline deteriorated since January and were the least marked for 11 and13 months, respectively.

Across the UK, while the Midlands saw the fastest rise in permanent staff placements on a regional basis, rates of development were sharp elsewhere with the exception of London, where permanent placements rose at a modest pace that was the weakest for five months.

Temporary billings growth was fastest in the Midlands, closely followed by Scotland, while growth was also sharp in the three remaining regions covered by the survey.

The strongest growth in demand for permanent staff was in the IT and computing sector during February, while nursing/medical/care employees were the most in-demand type of short-term staff over the month.