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Job opportunities fall back, but are 4% up year on year

UK new Jobs 4% up y.o.uk

Job opportunities fall back, but are 4% up year on year

Reed Job Index down 7 points to read 104

Job opportunities across the country fell steeply last month, dropping by seven Index points in December. The recent surge in demand from private sector employers reversed down to give a Reed Job Index reading of 104.

However this mean year on year employer demand for new staff is up four per cent compared to December 2009 when the Index began. Increased demand from the private sector is responsible for this rise, as new public sector jobs continue to fall to less than half their level of a year ago.

Salaries for new jobs incrased last month by three points, reversing their seven-month slump from May to November last year to give a Reed Salary Index reading of 99. While year on year this leaves salaries one point (one per cent) down and failing to keep pace with inflation, they are now nearly back to their level of 12 months ago. Moreover skills shortages seem to be returning in key areas as salaries reached 12-month record highs more than 20 percent up in Consultancy and Retail, and outpaced inflation in Banking, Charity and Administration job sectors.

In spite of overall falls, job demand remained close to 12-month highs in areas ranging from Transport, Consultancy, IT, Marketing and Media to Banking, and reached their highest level since the Index began in Engineering. At the same time the Reed Public Sector Job Index sank to a new low of 42.

Year on year job demand has increased by more than 10% in the Midlands (both East and West), Yorkshire & Humberside, East Anglia and Scotland, and by 5% or more in London and the South East. Only three areas out of the 12 analysed (Wales, the North East and North West) have seen job demand fall year on year.

Martin Warnes, Managing Director of reed.co.uk, comments on the Reed Job Index for
December:"There are grounds for cautious optimism about new job prospects in 2011. Rising private sector demand has been enough to create year on year growth in spite of steep falls in new public sector jobs. Job sectors as different as Consultancy, Marketing, Banking and Engineering have experienced accelerating demand. Salaries have stabilized and in key areas increased, threatening the reappearance of skills shortages.

Clearly there are economic challenges ahead. Yet the jobs economy has undoubtedly avoided a much-predicted double-dip in 2010 and the private sector continues to lead a steady recovery in new job demand."

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