New figures from a leading recruitment consultancy show how events in the wider economy are affecting employment in different sectors.
Although unemployment continues to rise, recruitment firm Reed’s Job Index has found that the number of full-time jobs available via its website increased by 17% in December 2011 compared to a year earlier.
Here’s a breakdown of the sectors with the highest annual increases in job opportunities, according to Reed's latest figures:
In terms of the areas where the number of opportunities fell fastest, unsurprisingly the public sector and some of its associated sectors – notably education and social care – showed big annual drops.
There were also falls in banking and financial services, again unsurprising given the number of large companies making redundancies during 2011.
What's happened to salaries?
Salaries have remained flat overall over the past 12 months. The biggest increases came in financial services, recruitment consultancy and estate agency, plus security and safety, suggesting commission-led sectors are still willing to pay out. Salaries dipped the most in the retail, reflecting the current turmoil on the high street, legal, charity/voluntary and strategy/consultancy sectors.
Looking at job opportunities by region, the biggest annual increases in vacancies were in London and East Anglia. Only Northern Ireland showed a drop in vacancies, but there was only very minor growth in Wales, Scotland and north-west England.
When it comes to salaries, Reed reports no annual increase across the UK as a whole. However, salaries grew by 5% in East Anglia, 3% in the West Midlands, 2% in Yorkshire and Humberside and 1% in the south east. Wales and the East Midlands experienced the biggest falls.