By Marcus Leach
Job opportunities were 17 per cent higher in December compared to the same time last year and more than a fifth higher than two years ago in spite of 2011’s economic turbulence, according to the Reed Job Index analysis of job vacancy trends from over 8,000 recruiters across the UK.
Seasonal falls in vacancies saw month on month Index figures down 12 points (9 per cent) in December compared to November, although two job sectors — Hospitality and Purchasing — bucked the downward trend.
This fall followed the record highs of November, and brought the December 2011 Index back to September’s level, making it 21 per cent higher than two year’s ago when the Index was set at 100 in December 2009.
Overall this year-end report demonstrates how sustained the growth in demand for new staff has been in 2011 when compared to 2010. Technical staff such as engineers, IT and telecommunications specialists were at the forefront of this trend, with an annual increase in job vacancies of over 40 per cent.
Year on year demand for staff in job sectors as diverse as construction, qualified accountants, sales, leisure and tourism have all risen considerably higher than the average 17 per cent growth.
However two key job areas have declined over the last twelve months. Demand for Public Sector staff continues to collapse, and is 15 per cent below this time last year and a third of its level two years ago.
Demand for Financial Services staff levelled off in December to a little below its level of 12 months ago, although with a Reed Financial Services Index reading of 104 it is still above its level two years ago when the Index began.
The Reed Job Index is compiled by the UK’s number one job site, reed.co.uk, through analysis of job advertisement trends amongst more than 100,000 jobs from over 8,000 recruiters throughout the UK tracked against a baseline that was set at 100 in December 2009.
“The year on year increase in demand for new staff is particularly striking against the backdrop of economic turmoil of the last few months," Martin Warnes, Managing Director of reed.co.uk, commented.
"The traditional seasonal drop in recruitment activity in December has had its impact against the two-year highs recorded in November, but the fact that the number of new job vacancies on offer remains 17 per cent higher than 12 months ago is significant.
"Skilled technical staff in traditional areas of heavy industry, like engineering, have been especially sought after, alongside IT, telecommunications, leisure and tourism staff.
“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. 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.”
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