Jobs demand up in May, but salaries for new starters fall

Demand for new workers grew in May, but salaries on offer for new jobs fell by 3%, the latest Reed Job Index reveals today.

The index is based on data from the UK’s largest jobs board and tracks the number of new job opportunities on offer compared to the previous month and against a baseline score of 100 set in December last year.

It found that employer demand for new staff rose by one point in May to give a reading of 103, but salaries on offer for new posts dropped down four points (3%) over the same period to record a score of 95.

The charity and voluntary sector witnessed the greatest demand, and sectors such as marketing and PR, legal and secretarial also fared well. Fully-qualified and non-qualified accountants were also sought after.

Demand also rose in the public sector, with the index rising 23 points compared to the previous month to reach 97, closing the gap on last year’s level. The report suggests the leap is perhaps a response to the forthcoming recruitment freezes in the sector.

Elsewhere, sectors with the greatest demand saw salaries stay steady or fall back. The average salary for May was £31,871, compared to £33,220 in April and £33,414 in December 2009.

Regionally, job demand in London has returned to growth with a reading of 102. Job numbers in East Anglia and the West Midlands also rose. However, both Scotland and Wales fell back in May compared to April, with job demand now lower than in December 2009.

Martin Warnes, managing director of Reed.co.uk, said: “While it is good that the job demand trend is upwards again, recovery remains fragile and salaries for new staff dropped by 3% in May. In spite of George Osborne’s hopes, the private sector has yet to demonstrate it is taking up the slack in advance of public sector cuts.

“However, although employers are still suffering from cost constraints, some are seizing this opportunity to recruit talented people at high value to help grow their businesses.”

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