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Job opportunities slip back, although they are 25 per cent up year on year Reed Job Index down 3 points to 128

Job opportunities across the country slipped back last month, down 3 Index points (2 per cent) in March compared to February according to the report from the UK’s largest recruitment website, reed.co.uk. However year on year employer demand is up 25 per cent, to give a Reed Job Index reading of 128.

This means that employer demand has risen 28 per cent since December 2009, when the Index’s baseline was set at 100. Private sector growth is responsible for this increase, with new public sector jobs slipping further back to less than half the level they were when the Index began.
Employer demand continued to rise across ten key private sector job sectors. These range from industrial areas such as Transport & Logistics (178), Manufacturing (157), Engineering (155), and Construction & Property (124) to services job sectors such as Strategy & Consultancy (198) Estate Agency (120), and Hospitality & Catering (119). In contrast the Reed Public Sector Job Index now reads 49.

Salaries for new jobs edged up one point from February to March, to give a Reed Salary Index reading of 99.

This means that salaries on offer for new jobs are still down one per cent in real terms since December 2009, and continue to lag behind rising inflation. At the same time a few initial indications of skills shortages have appeared, with salaries above the December base-line and rising in areas such as Administration, Estate Agency, Hospitality & Catering and HR job sectors. In Banking salaries for new jobs have reached their highest level since the Index began, with a Reed Banking Job Index reading of 127.

Martin Warnes, Managing Director of reed.co.uk, comments on the Reed Job Index for March:

"The sharp rise in job creation witnessed in January and February has slowed, indicating that economic recovery should not be taken for granted. Indeed, rising inflation, rising unemployment figures and international turbulence have been reminders that the economy remains fragile.

"However job creation is well ahead of last year. Encouragingly this growth has been spread across a wide range of private sector areas, from Engineering and Manufacturing right through to service sector staff from Strategic Consultants to Catering. With high job competition keeping salaries flat this is a good time for employers to find the talented people they need."

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