Recruiter says labour market looks buoyant

Ben Southwood
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THE UK’S labour market continued to grow in February, building on months of improvement and despite a weakness in output, according to new data released this morning.

The number of job openings surged 12 per cent between January and last month, Reed said, and 11 per cent year on year, pushing the recruiter’s job index to its highest ever level – 10 per cent better than its previous all-time record.

“The latest Reed job index figures provide further confirmation of robust and continued growth in the employment market,” said managing director Martin Warnes.

Fresh data that shows an upbeat jobs market while the wider economy remains bumpy is a puzzle for some economists, but will be a boost to chancellor George Osborne.

After consecutive poor GDP releases, he has relied on the upbeat labour market data – which shows employment up 584,000 over 2012 – to provide a boost.

The charitable sector topped the table for yearly job opportunity growth, with openings up 66.1 per cent, followed by social care, up 45.5 per cent and education, up 40.7 per cent.

However this selection of job openings will be less positive for George Osborne, who has based his claims for economic competency on a plan of cutting down on state spending, to stabilise the UK’s growing debt pile.