Online recruitment across sectors edged upwards last month while demand for HR jobs continued to show a “significant” improvement, new data has shown.
The Monster Employment Index found the number of job vacancies advertised online increased by two points to a reading of 126 in March, on a scale where 100 is the baseline. Demand for HR jobs was recorded at 78, up 32% on the year and just one percentage point down from February.
The analysis of online job vacancies culled from jobs boards and corporate careers sites showed that marketing, PR and media led all sectors in monthly growth, while the arts, entertainment, sports and leisure sectors reported the strongest year-on-year rise.
Jonathan Der, economic researcher at Monster Worldwide, told Personnel Today the positive figures resulted from increased “recruitment for consumer-driven sectors”. He added the one-point decline in the HR sector was nothing to worry about.
“This development was very marginal. The index [for HR] was basically at the same level as it was in February, and if you look at the long-term growth trend, showing a 32% rise year-on-year, HR is significantly better than it was a year ago.”
The results come after the monthly Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and professional services firm KPMG, which last week showed the number of people placed in permanent jobs had risen at the fastest pace in nearly 13 years.
Top three regions for HR jobs
Source: Monster Employment Index
However, Der warned that strong growth in private sectors such as arts, entertainment, sports and leisure could be adversely affected by forthcoming job losses expected in the public sector.
“There is a continued downside risk to the UK jobs market – especially given the fact that if there are lay-offs in the public sector, you will have a lot more joblessness in the economy, which will impact on consumer spending,” he said.
The manufacturing and production sectors seemed to be faring better, Der added, showing long-term growth that will be less impacted by any cuts in the public sector.
Last week, Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, said: “A lot of the current hiring activity is going on in the public sector. The public sector recession which clearly is on the cards hasn’t hit the jobs market yet, but when it does, the upward trend we have seen over the past couple of months may come to a halt.”