Starting salaries are rising at their fastest pace for 20 months as the departure of European workers after the Brexit vote squeezes the availability of suitable job candidates, new figures show.
The report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) suggested now might be a good time to consider moving jobs.
These starting salary figures – for permanent staff – contrast with official data showing sluggish pay growth for the wider workforce.
The REC report, covering July, showed permanent staff placements grew at the fastest rate for more than two years.
At the same time, availability of staff suffered its biggest fall for a year and a half.
REC chief executive Kevin Green said the strength of the jobs market continued to confound expectations.
He added: “Starting salaries are also still rising, so for workers who want to boost their earnings now is a good time to consider moving job.”
The data contrasts with latest official figures across the UK workforce which show pay growing at just 2%, below the inflation rate – meaning staff are seeing their pay cut in real terms.
That suggests there may be a disparity between tempting offers being made to new hires and weak pay increases for employees staying in their jobs.
Mr Green said: “It’s clear that employers are having to work even harder to fill jobs as vacancies rise and candidate availability shrinks.
“The parts of the economy most reliant on European workers are under even more pressure as many EU workers return home.
“Employers are not just struggling to hire the brightest and the best but also people to fill roles such as chefs, drivers and warehouse workers.”