By Daniel Hunter

The UK jobs market has confounded doomsayers for three consecutive years and now stands a third healthier than it did in 2010, according to the latest Reed Job Index.

The largest monthly measure of conditions and trends in employment opportunities in the UK indicates the market has grown by 3% compared with last month and is 12% healthier than it was this time last year.

This positive trend is apparent across a significant majority of sectors, with 76% growing month on month and 91% stronger than they were in January 2012. The social care, education and health and medicine sectors are currently faring the strongest, up 68%, 63% and 52% respectively.

Around the regions, the picture is equally encouraging with 11 out of 12 areas growing on both a monthly and annual basis. Indeed there are now over 30% more opportunities on offer in the North East compared with this time last year, with a further eight regions enjoying annual growth of more than 10%.

Overall, the Reed Job Index now stands at 138, compared with 134 the previous month (December 2012) and 123 at the same time last year (January 2012).

Growth in salaries remained flat in January, both month on month and year on year, with the index remaining static at 98.

Commenting on the latest figures, James Reed, chairman of reed.co.uk, says:

“Throughout the downturn a number of commentators have been predicting a torrid time for the UK jobs market but, five years later, they have all been proved profoundly wrong.

“Today's reality is a steadily strengthening jobs market, with the Reed Job Index data showing that the demand for new staff has grown robustly over the past 12 months. Jobseekers are also becoming more active, as they grow in confidence to pursue new opportunities. This has been evidenced by record visits and registrations on reed.co.uk over the last month.

“Even if the statistics confirm a triple-dip recession in the UK, the growing capacity in the labour market suggests that business confidence is returning and any recession is unlikely to be long-lasting. Supporting and strengthening a jobs-led recovery should be a key aim of policy makers in 2013."

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