London and south east leave UK behind on job prospects

OPTIMISM about the jobs market increased in May, with London and the south east seeing the biggest improvement in sentiment, according to Lloyds.

The bank’s survey of 2,000 consumers across the UK indicated that the outlook is still negative about employment, but less so than in the first quarter. 53 per cent were negative about jobs, while 16 per cent were positive.

Those surveyed in the south east and London were more positive than anywhere else in the country, with the north east lagging furthest behind.

The index has proved to be a good indicator of the job market in general, and has been closely correlated with the employment statistics recorded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the past.

Job security remained the same as April’s reading, with 18 per cent more positive about their position in the past year, and 30 per cent more negative.

The survey asks about inflation, which reveal that most people still believe prices will rise over the year. 75 per cent predict an increase, 20 per cent that they will remain the same, and only five per cent believe they will fall.