Employer demand steadies, but salaries drop - as the Reed Job Index reads 102
Uncertainty Effects Job Market, with General Election imminent
Salary offers for new jobs dropped back below 2009s level, although demand from UK employers for new workers remained steady in April according to the Reed Job Index published today.
The number of new job opportunities matched Marchs level, giving a Reed Job Index reading of 102. However average salaries on offer in April were 4% lower than this years high point in February, and slipped below last years level to give a Salary Index reading of 99.
Each month the Reed Job Index tracks the number of new job opportunities 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 UKs 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.
A few sectors bucked the trend. Job demand for General Insurance, Financial Services, and Leisure & Tourism staff rose to their highest level since the Reed Job Index was created last year. However - and in contrast to earlier in the year salary offers did not rise in line with job demand last month. Average salary offers were 5% below Decembers level for both General Insurance and Financial Services staff, and remained level for Leisure & Tourism staff.
Job demand in some regions held up, with East Anglia, North East England, the South East (excluding London) and Scotland all remaining above last years levels.
However job demand in London itself, which up to now has consistently outperformed the rest of the country, dropped back for the first time below last years levels, recording a Reed Job Index reading of 99.
Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat prospective Secretary of Work and Pensions, comments: "The latest Reed Job Index shows that the UK is not yet out of the woods of the economic downturn.
These figures show why cutting spending while the economy remains fragile would be a big mistake. We need to invest in a green jobs package which will encourage employers to take on more staff. This will support the economy now and build our infrastructure for the long-term.
Yvette Cooper, prospective New Labour Secretary of State for Work and Pensions comments:
"This shows how vital it is to keep up support for jobs and the economy this year until the recovery is secure."Unemployment is around half a million lower than experts predicted last year but many people are still having a hard time as a result of the recession, and we are not out of the woods yet. Labour's support for jobs and the unemployed has made a difference but it would be disastrous for families and for jobs to cut back on public spending and support for the economy right now as the Tories have promised."
Martin Warnes, Managing Director of reed.co.uk, comments on the Reed Job Index for March: While employer demand for new workers has stayed steady this month, across the economic scene the Index figures offer more signs of nervousness than confidence at the moment. Salaries are trending downwards, even in areas where demand for staff seems particularly buoyant, and demand for workers in London has dropped below last years levels for the first time since the Index began.
However the predominant trend is level with last month. Employers seem to be waiting to see the outcome of the General Election, so they can factor the result into their forward plans for jobs.