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Despite everything, UK jobs market buoyant

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As economy shows signs of growth, April jobs market down slightly month on month (two percent), but year on year, job market has grown 14 percent.

Reed Job Index echoes strong first quarter evidenced by recent GDP figures. The UK jobs market contracted slightly in April (-2 percent), following a record first quarter (+9 percent on Q4 2012) with year on year growth remaining strong (+14 percent), according to the latest Reed Job Index.

The Reed Job Index, the largest monthly measure of conditions and trends in employment opportunities in the UK, now stands at 153 – three points lower than the previous month, which saw the index reach its highest ever level. The April figures follow a strong first quarter for the UK jobs market, with 9 percent more job opportunities on offer during the first three months of the year, compared with the final quarter of 2012. This echoes the recently announced GDP figures, which showed that the UK economy grew by 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year. Overall, the April jobs market was 2.3 percent higher than the first quarter average (149.6) for 2013.

A significant majority of sectors (85 percent) are now stronger than they were this time last year, with particularly strong gains in social care (64 percent), construction (60 percent), education (51 percent) and health & medicine (51 percent). Month on month, hospitality and catering saw strong gains (21 percent). Looking around the UK, the majority of regions are offering more opportunities than they were this time last year. Monthly growth in the capital unexpectedly fell back in April by just over 2 percent, though London is still offering 11 percent more opportunities now compared with last year.

Overall, the Reed Job Index now stands at 153, compared with 156 last month and 134 in April 2012. The Reed Salary Index now stands at 99, compared to 100 last month and 98 in April 2012. Commenting on the latest figures, James Reed, Chairman of reed.co.uk, says: “April saw a steadying of the jobs market, with a slight dip due to an expected seasonal fall following the Easter Bank Holidays. So far this year, the Reed Job Index has been showing a clear and continuing trend for growth, which was reinforced by last week’s positive news that the UK economy avoided a triple dip recession. “We're now seeing people apply for new jobs in unprecedented numbers, as many who have been sitting tight during the tough economic conditions of the last few years gain the confidence to look at furthering their careers with a new employer. Salaries have remained static for over three years against a rising cost of living, so now is the time for many people to look for something new.”

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