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Recruitment Growth Reaches Six-Month High

The job market continued to improve in May with the number of people taking permanent positions increasing and the pace of growth reaching a six-month high, according to the latest report from the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation).

Private sector job vacancies increased sharply, with the amount of growth the highest since comparable data were available in December 2011. Temporary vacancies in the private sector increased at the sharpest pace for six months.

Engineering job vacancies remained the most sought-after permanent staff category during May. All other types registered higher demand except Construction, where stagnation was recorded. 

As expected there is bad news in the public sector; permanent vacancies fell in May, making it five months of falls but  temporary vacancies increased slightly following a decline in April.

Job Opportunities Increase

Another positive set of results from a major jobs survey has found evidence of burgeoning recruitment activity across the UK.

The Reed Job Index for May 2013 finds 8% more job opportunities last month than in April, with the number of positions 17% up on May 2012, and the job market at its healthiest since 2008.

This comes after the most recent labour market update from the Office for National Statistics found over half a million jobs were advertised in the three months to the 30th of April, the highest in over four years.

U.K. Industry Output Rises

Industrial output posted its strongest quarterly performance in almost three years through April, adding to signs the economy is gaining momentum after returning to growth in the first quarter.

Surveys by Markit Economics published this month showed services and manufacturing were at the highest in 14 months in May. The euro area, Britain’s largest trading partner, is also showing signs of improvement, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi saying last week the region’s economy will return to growth by the end of the year.

“Resilient industrial production in April added to the recent good news on the U.K. economy and boosted hopes that the manufacturing sector is cranking up to contribute to growth,” said Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight in London.

UK Attracts Overseas Investment

The UK remained Europe’s most attractive market for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2012, with 697 such projects creating 30,311 jobs last year.

This is according to professional services firm Ernst & Young’s ‘European Attractiveness Survey’ which is based on interviews with over 800 global senior executives. It records a moderate 3% drop in the total number of FDI projects across Europe, to 3,797, creating 170,434 jobs over the continent.

Germany has overtaken the UK in manufacturing sector FDI, and is catching up in service industries – with Central and Eastern Europe overtaking Western Europe in overall project volumes.