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The permanent hiring index dipped slightly to 61.9 in October from 62.2 in September (Reuters)

Hiring in the UK held firm last month as wages rose at the fastest pace in six years.

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and consultancy KPMG, the permanent hiring index dipped slightly to 61.9 in October from 62.2 in September, but remained above the 50 mark that indicates growth.

The REC/KPMG Report on Jobs, which questioned 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies, also revealed that permanent salaries rose to 57.6 in October, up from 56.7 the month before.

"For those who have set government policy the latest figures are great news, with higher numbers of job opportunities emerging alongside the sharpest increase in permanent wages for six years, as demand continues to strengthen," said Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG.

"Whilst this is a sure sign of economic recovery, we must not get complacent because, in the higher earning bracket, left unchecked wage inflation will bring different challenges to businesses who strive for profitable growth."

But the report indicated steeper falls in both permanent (42.9) and temporary staff (44.6) availability in October, with the rates of decline the sharpest in around six years.

Private sector vacancies continued to rise at a faster pace than public sector roles in the latest survey period, according to the research.

In the private sector, permanent staff saw stronger demand growth than temporary/contract workers (70.2), while in the public sector the reverse was true (54.9).

All nine types of permanent staff monitored by the survey saw improved levels of demand for staff during October.

The strongest growth was signalled for engineering workers (71.6), followed by construction staff (68.8) and then IT and computing employees (66.4).

"Recruiters are also telling us that the hiring process is starting to pick up speed as employer confidence returns, which should lead to greater fluidity returning to the jobs market and greater opportunities for those looking to enter the jobs market or make the next step up in their career," added Kevin Green, chief executive of REC.

The Bank of England currently expects unemployment to hit its 7% threshold in late 2016.