Job market showing signs of recovery

There are indications that the UK job market is experiencing a recovery, after figures released today highlighted the biggest month-on-month increase in job demand for almost two years.

The figures, from Reed’s job index for October, reverse the decline in job demand in the third quarter of this year, and bring the number of new job vacancies on offer back up to the levels last seen in the first three months of 2011.

The October index stands at 129, which is taken from an underlying figure of 119,429 jobs, a 7% increase on September’s figures of 112,034 jobs, and 29% above the job numbers when the Reed job index started in December 2009 at 88,158 jobs.

Meanwhile, the Reed salary index highlighted an average salary level of £32,485, down 2% compared with the average salary level of £33,414 in December 2009.

Employer demand for new staff rose by 10 points or more across core business job sectors, led by IT, marketing and qualified accountants, as well as in consumer-facing job sectors such as retail and sales, and industrial sectors such as engineering. Unsurprisingly, demand in the public sector is still low, but is up nine points (to 66) from the previous month.

Martin Warnes, managing director of, said: “Job demand across the country has recovered strongly across nearly all areas of the private sector compared to the previous quarter, as employers revive their hiring plans.

“We do need to be careful not to get carried away by one month’s figures, especially as this increase only brings us back to the level of demand for new staff that the UK was experiencing this spring. Nevertheless, the rise suggests a return of employer optimism to a level not seen for the last eight months.”

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