A two-speed labour market is emerging, with a lack of candidates for highly skilled jobs coupled with persistent levels of unemployment, according to a new report.
A study by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG found a rise in the number of people placed into permanent and temporary posts last month, but the rate of increase has slowed.
Research among 400 recruitment agencies revealed there were more job vacancies in March, but the rate of growth was the slowest for seven months.
REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "The fact that in March more people secured jobs than in the previous month is obviously good news, although the rate of growth has slowed. However, the most significant issue is the emergence of a two-speed labour market with a lack of candidates for highly skilled roles at the same time as persistent levels of unemployment.
"Recruiters report that businesses are willing to pay better starting salaries to get the right talent but are struggling to find people with the right skills and experience as candidate availability declines. It's a worrying trend that is particularly problematic across IT and engineering and at senior levels in other sectors."