Jobs hope despite turmoil, says Reed

Julian Harris
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JOB opportunities jumped last month, compared to the same time the previous year, despite economic headwinds, according to a survey by Reed out today.

New vacancies were 17 per cent higher than in December 2010, the jobs firm reckons.

“The year on year increase in demand for new staff is particularly striking against the backdrop of economic turmoil of the last few months,” said Reed’s managing director Martin Warnes.

“Skilled technical staff in traditional areas of heavy industry, like engineering, have been especially sought after, alongside IT, telecommunications, leisure and tourism staff.”

Demand for new staff fell 12 points from a record high the previous month, yet Warnes puts the drop down to seasonal fluctuations. December’s level was still 21 per cent higher than two years previous, the report said.

The boost comes despite evidence of a slowdown in recruitment to the public sector, with demand for government workers down 15 per cent compared to the 12 months prior.

“Certainly employers have become more cautious as 2011 draws to a close, and it is impossible to predict the impact of any new economic challenges that lie ahead,” Warnes admitted.

“However, right now, UK employers are not only investing in new talent to fill their immediate needs, they are clearly planning for growth in 2012.”

However, demand in the financial sector appeared less robust than in other industries. Demand for staff was “a little below” its level in December 2010, the index showed.

Offered pay across the jobs market as a whole remains muted, with the Reed salary index being kept below the 100 point mark set when the index began in December 2009.

The survey is compiled with data from the recruitment agency’s website, reflecting jobs throughout the UK.