The UK jobs market grew in March, continuing positive growth seen throughout the first quarter of 2013.
Reed Job Index’s monthly measure of conditions and trends in employment opportunities stands at 156, its highest ever level, eclipsing last month’s previous high by one percent.
In total there were nine percent more job opportunities on offer during the first quarter of the year, compared with the final three months of 2012.
Eighty-one percent of sectors are stronger than they were this time last year, while 51 percent are growing on a monthly basis.
Broken down by geographic region, the majority offer more opportunities than they did last month and all but one are stronger than at the same time last year. London saw growth fall back by just over one percent, although the capital still offers around eight percent more opportunities than the previous year.
Salaries saw a modest increase of one percent, meaning the index has now reached its starting level of 100 in December 2009. However, remuneration appears to be slightly lower than it was in 2012.
This is obviously positive news for the UK as a whole, but we’ll need to see how these trends play out over the next couple of years. With a majority of sectors showing improvement, cautious optimism is definitely the name of the game for businesses. Growing, of course, may not be the best course of action for firms looking to emerge strongly from the economic downturn. HR must see if the business case for recruitment is there before making decisions.
Commenting on the latest figures, James Reed, Chairman of reed.co.uk, said: “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. There has been a very significant 10 percent 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.”