Latest Reed Index Shows 29% Jump In January Job Vacancies
Job vacancies set a January record last month, leaping by 29% compared to the same month in 2013, driven by a significant increase in the construction sector. However, pay has remained stagnant during the past year and even declined in some regions. This is expected to change in 2014, with employers coming under pressure to boost salaries as job opportunities continue to increase, workers gain more confidence and major sectors continue to struggle with skill shortages.
This is according to the latest Reed Job Index, which reveals that January brought new job opportunities in every industry sector. It was a particularly strong month for professionals in the construction and property sector, where vacancies surged by 74% on the year. The overall index reading jumped from 138 last January to 178.
latest jobs data was very encouraging…
However, this buoyant growth in vacancies had virtually no impact on salaries. Reed chairman James Reed said that the latest jobs data was very encouraging but there was little to rejoice over with regard to pay. Average salaries in January were a mere 1% above the 2013 average. Employers did everything in their power to keep skilled workers from leaving during the recession but the economy is picking up and this is bound to affect remuneration policies, he pointed out. With economic conditions on the mend, opportunities for job seekers have improved significantly and this has resulted in greater confidence. In addition, engineering and other key sectors are struggling with skill shortages. This combination of factors is giving candidates an edge in salary negotiations and employers will come under pressure to offer more if they want to grab the most talented workers, Reed added.