Professional recruitment firms have 12 percent more vacancies on their books than a year ago, according to new survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

The results come despite data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), revealing overall employment levels dipped by 67,000 in the three months to May 2015.

The latest data from APSCo reveals growth in the professional staffing market continues to climb across all of the trade association’s core sector groups. Permanent vacancies across finance and accounting (13%), IT (11%), engineering (7%) and media and marketing (1%) are all up year-on-year. This is also in line with recent figures from ONS which show that income tax receipts rose to £11.5bn in June as wages climbed.

Rapid growth in the financial and accounting sectors are in-keeping with reports from recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley, which found that new London job vacancies in June were up 56 percent from May are a sharp dip during the General Election period.

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo comments:

“Behind reports that national employment levels have fallen quarterly for the first time in over two years, it is worth remembering that, as a percentage, the employment rate is down by just 0.1%. APSCo’s data is more representative of what the recruitment profession has witnessed of late: greater market stability and confidence in hiring, particularly within the professional sectors. The annual growth in tax receipts is indicative of the strength in the labour market, particularly strong wage growth.”

APSCo’s survey also revealed that median salaries across all professional sectors continue to climb, increasing by 6.2 percent year-on-year. This rise also exceeds average salary rises reported by the ONS, which found earnings, including bonuses, rose at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the three months to May 2015.

Ann Swain continues:

“The fact that wages have risen so significantly is a sure sign that market confidence is soaring. Organisations are scrambling to get their hands on the brightest talent, and only those that can offer attractive remuneration packages stand a fighting chance. The CBI’s latest growth indicator found that economic expansion in the three months to May reached its strongest rate since the same month last year, and as companies reach their saturation point in terms of output, they will face a choice between bringing on board more talent, or stunting their own growth prospects.”