Contract and interim job vacancies increased by 20% in the second quarter of 2014, and by 11% in the first quarter, according to an article on the Staffing Industry website.
The article quotes research from recruitment firm Venn Group's recent Employment Trends Index, noting that the findings also fall in line with data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which indicates that general UK employment is improving at a record speed.
Similar findings from The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) support the fact that Q2 saw a rapid increase in the country's economic recovery.
Hiring in the public sector led the way during this period, with a 10% increase in vacancies from Q1, and a year-on-year recruitment increase of 40%. The NHS was a significant driver of this, as the government's £3.8 billion Better Care Fund helped them to hire contractors in areas such as finance, IT and HR. There was also a growing talent shortage at this time, meaning that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have been using contractors in order to meet demand.
The figures show that private contractor vacancies, however, fell in Q2 by -31%. Despite this, there was a strong growth in hiring within certain 'pockets', such as legal conveyancing, the article notes.
Senior professionals can earn up to £500 per day
On a positive note, contractor pay rates increased in those areas with the highest demand for candidates. One example listed is the area of healthcare finance, where senior professionals can earn up to £500 per day.
Associate director of Venn Group Jodie Finn told Staffing Industry that the figures highlight "the pivotal role that contractors are playing in providing the labour market flexibility". According to Finn, opportunities for contractors are expected to remain abundant for the foreseeable future, meaning that firms may have to increase their pay packages in order to attract the best people.