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Cautious optimism among businesses Says Robert Walters

Cautious optimism’ among businesses Says Robert Walters  

•             Latest Robert Walters European Job Index indicates a 4% increase in advertised UK job vacancies between the first and second quarters

•             Quarterly growth in European job advertisements remains broadly flat, although signs emerge of positive sentiment in some sectors and markets

•             Encouraging increases in UK vacancies across banking and financial services, insurance and supply chain and logistics

•             Considerable variations recorded in different UK regions, with Scotland, the North East and North West generating the largest increases in quarterly advertised vacancies

Returning business confidence has generated an overall increase of 4% in the number of job vacancies advertised in the UK, according to the new Robert Walters European Job Index comparing the first and second quarters of 2013. 

While the news delivers a boost to professionals looking for their next move in the UK, the Index indicates that growth in the number of advertised vacancies has stalled across much of the rest of Europe. Beyond the UK, only Luxembourg recorded an increase (7%) in the total volume of job advertisements, fuelled in large part by mounting regulatory demands and the need for compliance professionals.

The steepest drops in the total volume of advertised vacancies in Europe were recorded in Switzerland (down 10%), Spain (-9%), Ireland (-9%) and Belgium (-9%).

Among recorded sectors in the UK, financial services produced the strongest signs of recovery, the Index showing a huge rise of 27% in the number of advertised jobs between the first two quarters of the year. This is despite the fact that financial services contributed only 4% of the total number of advertised vacancies in the second quarter, highlighting the strong potential for further growth and a bullish attitude in hiring trends.

Businesses in the energy and supply chain and logistics sectors showed the next highest increase in the volume of quarterly advertised job vacancies, delivering total rises of 25% and 22% respectively. Job seekers are also benefiting from an upturn in advertised roles in insurance (up 16% in the quarter), legal (15%) and manufacturing (14%).

The Index also shows that, in a number of sectors, advertised vacancy levels in the regions are outstripping those in London and the South East, with employers increasingly looking to tap into high quality talent across the UK.

Advertised accountancy job levels, for example, bounced 8% higher in the Midlands in the second quarter and by 3% in the North East and North West, at the same time as the Index showed a 0.1% decrease in vacancies in London. Similarly, where quarterly vacancy levels in compliance dipped in the capital by 2%, the number of advertised compliance roles grew in the North East and North West by 16% and in Scotland by 2%. Additionally, where the Index records an 8% quarterly rise in advertised insurance jobs in London, the sector generated 46% more vacancies in the North West and North East and 13% more in Scotland across the same period.

Chris Hickey, CEO of Robert Walters UK, Middle East and Africa, says: “There was an element of cautious confidence in the market in Q2, particularly evident in London and the South East. Large financial services institutions showed signs of improvement, and people within this sector have been more confident in seeking new opportunities. There was also greater activity within IT as a number of start-ups sought to expand their European footprint. Outside of the South East, a number of multinational corporations continued to shift their support functions to lower cost regions (Manchester and Birmingham), leading to a demand in these areas for professionals from across a number of sectors.”


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