Optimism grows over UK jobs market

A raft of data released this week further suggests that the UK jobs market is picking up as the economy recovers, with manufacturing, construction and property showing particular strength.

Wed, 4 Sep 2013A raft of data released this week further suggests that the UK jobs market is picking up as the economy recovers, with manufacturing, construction and property showing particular strength.

The latest Reed Job Index for August, showed a 16% increase in job opportunities year-on-year. Construction and property lead the way with a 67% rise year-on-year.

The job index now stands at 161, up from 138 at the beginning of the year.

Scotland was, for the third month in a row, the geography seeing the biggest increase in job opportunities, while Northern Ireland was the only area seeing decline, albeit relatively marginal at 2%.

Commenting on the latest figures, reed.co.uk chair James Reed says: “The jobs market has certainly been buoyant this summer.”

These positive signs were echoed earlier in the week when the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for activity in the manufacturing sector rose to 57.2 in August, indicating growth.

Last month also saw data from job search engine Adzuna showing growth in online job vacancies through the summer.

Tim Cowell, managing director of niche manufacturing recruiter MRL, tells recruiter.co.uk that the pickup in his sector began five months ago. “If someone got a job offer 12 months ago, it was fairly cut and dry they would take the role.” Now, he says it is the complete opposite, with some candidates able to choose from four or five offers.

However, despite the overall sense of optimism, a closer reading of the index suggests that manufacturing firms remain sceptical about increasing staff numbers, with the employment section of the index registering at 51.6.

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