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UK jobs market grows by a third in three years, according to Reed job index


The UK jobs market grew for its third consecutive year and is in a healthier position now than it was three years ago, according to today's Reed job index.

The largest monthly measure of conditions and trends in employment opportunities in the UK, compiled by recruitment firm Reed, indicates the market has grown by 3% compared with last month and is 12% healthier than it was this time last year.

The index shows this positive trend is apparent across a significant majority of sectors, with 76% growing month on month and 91% stronger than they were in January 2012. The social care, education and health and medicine sectors are currently fairing the strongest, up 68%, 63% and 52% respectively.

Among the regions in in the UK, the northeast of England had the fastest increase, with 30% more posts on offer than 12 months ago, followed by the northwest, Wales, west midlands and Scotland.

James Reed, chairman of Reed, said: "Throughout the downturn a number of commentators have been predicting a torrid time for the UK jobs market but five years later they have all been proved profoundly wrong.

"Today's reality is a steadily strengthening jobs market, with the Reed Job Index data showing that the demand for new staff has grown robustly over the past 12 months. Jobseekers are also becoming more active, as they grow in confidence to pursue new opportunities.

"Even if the statistics confirm a triple-dip recession in the UK, the growing capacity in the labour market suggests that business confidence is returning and any recession is unlikely to be long-lasting. Supporting and strengthening a jobs-led recovery should be a key aim of policy makers in 2013."

In the City, Astbury Marsden said new jobs had trebled in the past month after hitting their lowest number since before the credit crunch. It estimated that 2,509 vacancies were created in January, up from 802 a year earlier.