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UK – Job vacancies up despite double dip recession

02 May 2012

The number of new job opportunities in April showed steady year-on-year growth despite the slowdown in the economy, today’s Reed Job Index shows. This recorded a +7% rise in new vacancies when compared to last year.

“Whilst the Easter holidays led to a disjointed period for UK business and a slowdown in job creation, the number of new opportunities available in April was seven per cent higher than the same point last year, following a steep increase in the first quarter,” said Martin Warnes, Managing Director of reed.co.uk.

This comes after last week’s announcement that the UK economy has entered a double dip recession in the first quarter of 2012, which Mr Warnes said was a “confidence blow and contradicts the general trend for growth we've seen throughout the last 12 months.”

“The creation of new jobs in growth areas, such as Energy, Engineering and Automotive, is helping give the recovery the momentum it needs. But with the high tax burden on employers recruiting new staff, now is the time for policy makers to ensure the path to a jobs-led recovery is a smooth one.”

But there were month-on-month vacancy falls in April for over half of the sectors examined. Despite this a third of these, including Engineering (233), IT (172) and Accountancy Qualified (154), had index readings well above April’s national index of 134.

Amongst the key findings are the following:

  • Demand for new staff working in the energy sector grew by 25% compared with March and is 50% up on last year
  • Salaries for new jobs were down one index point from March as UK salaries continue to lag behind
  • Vacancies available fell across all regions of the UK in April compared with March, however annual growth in new job opportunities was seen in nine of the 12 regions analysed including the East Midlands (up 19%), East Anglia (up 12%) and Northern Ireland (up 32%).

The Reed Job Index provides an insight into conditions and trends in the UK labour market. It is based on data collected from over 10,000 UK companies advertising on reed.co.uk, tracking the number of new jobs and salaries on offer each month against a baseline of 100 set in December 2009. It covers over 37 industries, such as engineering, transport and logistics and IT in 12 UK regions.

To read the full report, click here.

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