Demand for workers rises to year high

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The Independent Online

Demand for new UK workers reached its highest level for nearly a year in October, the recruitment company Reed will say today. Reed's Job Index rose three points to 107 in October, its highest point since the index began at the end of last year.

The figure will come as welcome news to the Government, which hopes that the private sector will pick up the slack with around 500,000 government jobs set to be axed over the coming months.

Reed compiles the index monthly from its internet jobs board, which is used by 8,000 recruiters. It is put together by tracking the number of new jobs posted on the site, and the salaries on offer, against a baseline of 100 set in December last year.

The previous high of 105 was recorded in February and today's figure is 7 per cent higher when compared to 11 months .

However, salary levels remain subdued – the Salary Index for the same month recorded a reading of 94, two points below last month and six points off the high. The number of applicants for each job has also risen, and at a faster rate than the number of available new jobs has increased, Reed warned.

The company's jobs board lists more than 90,000 vacancies across 37 career sectors throughout the UK. Highest demand came in manufacturing and marketing, which the company said demonstrated a "steady return to demand across the private sector". Demand was also higher in every region and UK nation for the first time since the index started. Demand rose in London, but remained below the spring highs, while job demand in the West Midlands and the South-east were at the highest level since the index started.

Martin Warnes, the managing director of Reed.co.uk, said: "The autumn has witnessed strong growth in the jobs market with demand up in diverse sectors such as banking, financial services, manufacturing, tourism and marketing." He added that while salaries were slipping on almost record application levels, the threat of a double-dip had receded.

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