Jobs demand hits 10-month high

Demand for jobs has reached its highest point since December 2009, according to the latest Reed Jobs Index, raising hopes that the private sector will be able to pick up the jobs slack created by public sector cuts.

Reed’s index, which uses its online job board to track the number of new job opportunities and the salaries on offer, rose three points last month to 107, beating the previous best of 105 set in February 2010 (on a scale where anything above 100 represents growth).

The strongest demand for new jobs came from employers in manufacturing and marketing, which Reed said demonstrated a “steady return to demand across the private sector”.

The figures will be music to the ears of the coalition Government, which has consistently asserted that the private sector will fill the gap created by forthcoming public sector job cuts, despite warnings from business groups to the contrary.

Demand was also higher in every region and UK nation for the first time since the index started in December 2009.

However, October’s report shows that salary levels are dropping as the number of applicants for each job has risen at a faster rate than the number of available new jobs has increased.

Martin Warnes, managing director of Reed.co.uk, said: “The autumn has witnessed strong growth in the jobs market with demand up in diverse sectors such as banking, financial services, manufacturing, tourism and marketing.

“Although salaries continue to slip downwards as applicant levels reach record highs, the threat of an imminent economic double-dip certainly seems to be receding which is great news for job-seekers.”

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