The UK economy may be experiencing a double-dip recession following the recent news that the economy shrank by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012, however, hiring activity is on the increase, according to the Reed Job Index.
The number of new job opportunities available in April grew 7% year-on-year and the index now stands at 134.
April’s figures were distorted by the Easter holidays, which meant the index registered a 6% fall compared with March.
- A third of sectors including engineering (233), IT (172) and accountancy qualified (154), had index readings well above April’s national index of 134.
- Demand for new staff working in the energy sector bounced back by 25% compared with March and is 50% up on last year, giving an index reading of 126.
- Salaries for new jobs have stayed 1% lower in real terms than when the index was first set in December 2009.
- Vacancies available fell across all regions of the UK in April compared with March. However, annual growth in new job opportunities was seen in nine of the 12 regions analysed including the East Midlands (up 19%), East Anglia (up 12%) and Northern Ireland (up 32%)
Martin Warnes, managing director of reed.co.uk, says: “While the Easter holidays led to a disjointed period for UK business and a slowdown in job creation, the number of new opportunities available in April was 7% higher than the same point last year, following a steep increase in the first quarter.
“Last week's announcement that the economy entered a double dip recession in the first quarter of 2012 is, first and foremost, a confidence blow and contradicts the general trend for growth we've seen throughout the last 12 months.
“The creation of new jobs in growth areas, such as energy, engineering and automotive, is helping give the recovery the momentum it needs. But with the high tax burden on employers recruiting new staff, now is the time for policy makers to ensure the path to a jobs-led recovery is a smooth one.”