Salaries have risen for the 26th month in row and permanent pay increased at the fastest pace ever seen in June, a new report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and KRMG shows.

Starting salaries were also driven up dramatically last month, due to a lack of job applicants. In fact, the number of staff members able to fill permanent roles dropped to the lowest level seen in 17 years, reports recruiter.co.uk. The availability of temporary and contract staff saw a dramatic decline too – the biggest since March 1998.

It’s not just those on salaries who have benefited either. Hourly wages rose dramatically at the sharpest rate seen since November 2007.

Although the lack of available staff might be bad news for recruiters, jobseekers had many more roles on offer to them in June. Both permanent and temporary staff demand increased last month, with the private sector accounting for most of the growth, reports onrec.com.

REC director of policy Tom Hadley thinks that firms need to “sharpen up” their hiring procedures, as the job market is now becoming much more candidate-led.

“The message to government is that we need to reform the visa system to satisfy immediate demand for skills, while stepping up measures to boost the UK skills base for the long term,” he stated.