Job market strong despite weak salary performance

Posted on 27 Feb 2011 by The Manufacturer

Job opportunities across the country rose sharply in February, up 18 index points (16%) month on month according to a report from Britain’s largest recruitment website,

Employer demand continued its steep rise to give a Reed Job Index reading of 131, the highest since the Index began in December 2009.

Employer demand has risen 27 points (26%) year on year. Private sector growth is responsible for this increase, with new public sector jobs on offer only just above half the level they were in 2009.

Twenty-seven different job sectors from across all areas of the private sector recorded their highest levels since the Index started. Sectors where job demand is 50% or more above the Index start-point include: Engineering; Human Resources; IT and Telecoms; Leisure and Tourism, Marketing and PR; Media; Digital and Creative; Strategy and Consultancy; and Transport and Logistics.

In contrast while the Reed Public Sector Job Index rose 8 points compared to the prior month it remained only just above half its base level when the Index began, to read 51.

Job demand rose across every area of the UK. Areas recording the biggest increases, with new jobs 30% or more above the Index base of 100 set in December 2009, ranged from East Anglia, London, South West England, and the West Midlands to Yorkshire and Humberside.

Yet salaries for new jobs slipped back one point to give a Reed Salary Index reading of 98. Salaries on offer for new jobs are down 2% in real terms since December 2009 and 6% year on year, lagging further behind rising inflation. Month-on-month salary increases appear in just 12 out of the 35 job sectors analysed, with only the Banking Sector showing a month on month increase above the December 2009 base-line of 100, to give a Reed Banking Salary Index figure of 113.