Private sector leads January rise in job opportunities

Job opportunities across the country rose in January, with some sectors offering their highest number of vacancies in over a year, according to data released today.

The Reed Job Index, released monthly by recruitment website, is based on the numbers of jobs and jobseeker activity on the site. January’s report showed a rise in the number of vacancies posted by recruiters to 104,740. This was a 9% increase on the December 2010’s figure of 96,504.

Private sector growth is responsible for this increase, as new public sector jobs remain less than half the level of a year ago.

Seventeen industries from the private sector recorded their highest levels since the index started in December 2009. In contrast, the public sector job index rose just 1% on December, staying close to pre-Christmas lows.

The general rise in job demand occurred across the UK, with regions such as North-East England and the West Midlands having more than 20% more jobs on offer now than when the index began.

However, despite the increase in job numbers, salary levels offer a far more sober picture. The average salary for jobs posted on the site in January 2011 is £33,039, unchanged from the December 2010 figure – this is down 1% in real terms since the index began.

Real-term salary increases appear in just 10 out of the 35 job sectors analysed, with areas such as retail, training, banking, hospitality, marketing and accountancy leading the way.

Martin Warnes, managing director of, said that the results demonstrate an increase in recruiter confidence, particularly in the private sector: “UK employers seem to be in job-creation mode, according to the latest Reed Job Index, with 13% more jobs on offer now than 13 months ago. Employers right across the private sector are confident enough to recruit new staff, and flat salaries make this a good time for them to attract the talented people they need.”

For more information on salary levels, see XpertHR’s salary surveys.

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