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Overall jobs market experiences slight decline but welcome boost comes from general staffing sector, finds Adecco

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The general staffing sector experienced a boost in job numbers in February, according to a report from Adecco.

The number of advertised permanent roles for general staffing jobs in the UK (which include sectors such as retail and engineering) increased by 6% month-on-month, offering reassurance that January's positive figures were not just a short-term reaction to the traditional post-Christmas boost.

While the overall jobs market saw a slight decline in the volume of advertised vacancies in February, this is to be expected as recruitment levels stabilise following the traditional January boost. There were other notable areas of growth including, IT and telecoms, as well as the public sector where there was growth in the number of temporary contracts advertised.

But general staffing saw the largest growth in advertised roles, driven primarily by a continuation of the retail sector's positive performance (a 15% increase in advertised permanent vacancies in February).

The volume of both permanent and temporary roles grew in the IT saw, which continues to suggest the sector is set for a positive 2012.

While the number of advertised temporary roles across the board decreased slightly, telecoms and the public sector bucked the trend with growth of 3% and 2% respectively in the number of advertised temporary roles.

Steven Kirkpatrick, MD, Adecco, said: "This data gives the General Staffing sector, and Retail in particular, a great confidence boost for the year ahead, and seems to have disproven any suggestion that January's positive results were just a flash in the pan. With each passing month, confidence is building in the job market and this is extremely encouraging to see.

"As expected, there has been a slight decline in advertised temporary roles compared to January's traditional increase. However, the decline is minimal, supporting the results of our recent research which found that companies have handled the introduction of the Agency Worker Regulations very well and have generally found it to have little impact on their business."