By sector, demand for staff was reported to have risen at the fastest rates for IT and engineering or construction staff.
Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said: “What’s interesting are the niche areas that are seeing much stronger growth than the national average. In every month this year the engineering and IT and computing sectors have seen solid increases in the number of workers recruited for permanent roles.”
“In temp work too there are certain skills that are still in high demand, such as drivers, chefs and a whole range of IT expertise.”
Overall, there was a modest rise in all permanent staff placements during May, but the rate of growth was the weakest this year. Temporary and contract staff were in low demand overall, with billings decreasing for the sixth month running, and at the fastest pace since July 2009, according to the recruitment agency figures.
Permanent staff salaries rose at their fastest rate for eight months in May, but the increase was only modest and well below the long-term average. Temporary staff pay rose at the weakest rate in five months.
The Midlands remained the strongest performer across the English regions in terms of both permanent and temporary jobs during May, while London continued to underperform.
In other recent figures, IT salaries jumped by an average 4.3 percent over the last year, outstripping the 2.3 percent rise for all UK jobs, according to business and technology recruitment firm ReThink.