By Claire West

New jobs on offer in some key job sectors increased to record levels, with demand in areas from Leisure & Tourism to Strategy & Consultancy, and from Accountancy to Customer Services reaching their highest levels since the Index began in December last year. Demand in other areas, such as the Public Sector, declined however to keep the national Job Index at the same level as last month.

Salaries for new jobs also stayed steady overall to give a Reed Salary Index reading of 95 for the fourth month running. The underlying level of salaries trended slightly down compared to the previous month, to give an average national salary of £31,728 for new jobs in August, compared to £31,919 in July.

Each month the Reed Job Index tracks the number of new job opportunities and the salaries on offer compared to the previous month and against a baseline of 100 set in December last year. The Reed Job Index is based on data from the UK’s largest job board, reed.co.uk, which every day lists over 90,000 job opportunities from 8,000 recruiters across 37 career sectors throughout the UK.

While overall job demand stayed steady, some sectors bucked the trend with impressive rises. High tourist numbers attracted by the low pound may have contributed to increases in new jobs to record highs in Leisure & Tourism (at 133) and Retail (at 116). However some mainstream business service areas also hit Job Index highs in sectors such as Accountancy, Banking, Customer Services and Strategy & Consultancy, while unsurprisingly the Public Sector Job Index continued to decline.

Across the country the picture is mixed. New jobs in London continued to dip to give an Index reading of 96. However in other areas new job demand has stayed steady, while in Northern Ireland and Scotland it has risen to the highest levels since the Index began.

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

“Traditionally, the UK job market is quiet in August. Against this background the fact that the Reed Job Index has held steady over the holiday season, even though Public Sector jobs continue to decline, is quietly encouraging news for the economy as a whole.

“While the seasonal tourist boom and an unexpected rise in consumer confidence may have helped fuel record demand for new staff in Leisure, Tourism and Retail, demand has also risen across broader commercial and financial sectors. Indeed demand for new staff in Accountancy, and Customer Services through to Strategy and Consultancy also rose to their highest levels since the Job Index began last year. It seems that overall confidence, particularly in the business services sector, has been slowly but steadily building over the summer break.”