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What lies ahead for jobseekers in 2014?

credited to Search Consultancy,
People searching for new employment opportunities in the UK found the going very tough during the financial crisis, but there have been numerous signs to suggest job prospects will improve significantly in 2014. 
The country's economy mounted a recovery in 2013, with much-needed growth being reported across important sectors such as manufacturing, services and construction in the second half of the year. 
Analysts are predicting further improvements over the next 12 months, which is great news for job applicants. 
2014: "A year full of opportunity"
In its latest report, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) suggested 2014 would be "a year full of opportunity" for the UK's labour market. 
The organisation has forecast a seven per cent increase in recruitment activity in the first quarter of the year and this figure will rise to eight per cent in the second half of 2014. 
"All in all this year will be the first of meaningful growth for a very long time. It will provide a positive backdrop for recruiters who want to expand and develop," the report stated. 
According to figures recently published by Markit, there was a surge in employment opportunities in the final quarter of 2013. The organisation confirmed that companies were hiring candidates at a rate not previously seen since the late-1990s. 
Private sector businesses recruited 150,000 staff during the three-month period and Markit believes the current overall rate of unemployment - which is said to be around 7.4 per cent of the population - will have fallen further since last October. 
The Bank of England has pledged not to raise interest rates until this figure falls to seven per cent and Markit thinks this threshold could be reached in early 2014 if current trends persist.
Chief economist at the organisation Chris Williamson commented: "Growth of employment picked up again in December, but remained just shy of October's record high, pushed upward by faster job creation in the service sector."
Which industries are growing the fastest?
While it is encouraging to see widespread job growth, it is inevitable that certain sectors will perform better than others. 
Recent improvements in construction and manufacturing output could lead to more employment opportunities in these areas, while the demand for medical staff remains high.
With more employers becoming increasingly reliant on modern technology, it is no surprise to see the demand for talented IT professionals and engineers soaring across the country. This works in favour of jobseekers who have experience of developing and adopting new technology, such as cloud computing.
REC analysts have suggested that skills shortages are forming in some fields and businesses have found it hard to recruit workers with certain expertise. 
At the beginning of 2013, the REC/KPMG Report on Jobs highlighted 14 areas in which skills gaps had appeared, but this figure has risen to 47 at the start of 2014 and is expected to grow further. 
All in all, 2014 has the potential to be a good year job hunters - especially those that found career progression very difficult during the recessionary years.

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