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U.K. Hiring Index Rises to 19-Month High in November, KPMG Says

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Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- A U.K. index of full-time hiring rose to a 19-month high in November in a sign of “cautious optimism,” KPMG LLP and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said.

The gauge of permanent job placements reported by employment consultancies rose to 56 from 55 in October, the groups said in an e-mailed report in London today. Readings above 50 indicate an increase in hiring. A measure of hiring of temporary workers climbed to the highest since March 2011, while full-time job vacancies rose at their fastest pace in 19 months.

“The negative outlook has been replaced by cautious optimism as employers gradually gain confidence,” Bernard Brown, KPMG’s head of business services, said in the report. However, “recovery is by no means certain and we need a few more months like this to suggest that emerging trends are translating into a sustained period of growth in employment.”

Britain’s economy is showing signs of cooling after emerging from recession in the third quarter with the strongest growth since 2007.

A separate report today showed Britons’ confidence about keeping their jobs fell to its lowest level in four months in November, Lloyds Bank said. An index of job security dropped 5 points from October to minus 18, the lowest since July, the unit of Lloyds Banking Group Plc said.

Bus operators including Arriva Plc, FirstGroup Plc, National Express Group Plc and Stagecoach Group Plc will today announce plans to give the unemployed free travel during January to help them in their search for work.

More than 800,000 people will be eligible for the offer. “Good bus services play a huge role in boosting economic growth by helping people to access employment and training opportunities,” transport minister Norman Baker said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Hamilton in London at shamilton8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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