By Daniel Hunter

The UK jobs market grew in March, continuing the positive growth in jobs seen throughout the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest Reed Job Index.

The largest monthly measure of conditions and trends in employment opportunities in the UK now stands at 156 — its highest ever level, eclipsing last month’s previous best by 1%. Overall, there were 9% more job opportunities on offer during the first quarter of the year, compared with the final three months of 2012.

A significant majority of sectors (81%) are now stronger than they were this time last year, with just over half (51%) growing on a monthly basis.

Looking around the UK, the majority of regions are offering more opportunities than they did last month and all but one are stronger than they were this time last year. Monthly growth in the capital unexpectedly fell back in March by just over 1%, though London is still offering some 8% more opportunities now compared with last year.

Overall, the Reed Job Index now stands at 156, compared with 155 last month and 142 in March 2012.

There was once again a modest monthly increase in salaries of 1%, meaning the index has now reached parity with its starting level of 100 in December 2009. Broadly speaking however, the general trend continues to be towards remuneration being slightly lower than it was in 2012.

“Commentators could be forgiven for expecting the jobs market to fall back slightly after taking such a significant and encouraging upward turn in February, but our March figures show there has been a clear and continuing trend for growth throughout the first quarter of 2013," James Reed, Chairman of, said.

"There has been a very significant 10% increase in the number of jobs available compared with this time last year.

“The employment allowance announced in the Budget is an additional fillip that will hopefully encourage still more employers to hire.”

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