EMPLOYMENT firm Reed says the jobs market is improving, despite the economic uncertainty, with the biggest growth coming in the North-East.
The Reed.co.uk job index, a monthly tracker of employment trends, shows that the jobs market started 2013 at its strongest for three years. Among the regions, the North-East had the fastest increase, with 30 per cent more posts on offer than 12 months ago, followed by the North-West, Wales, West Midlands and Scotland. However, the increase in this region was from a disappointingly low base in 2012 and it comes amid union warnings that most new jobs are part-time or self-employed, and a large proportion are temporary, casual employment.
Vacancies across the UK rose by three per cent last month and by 12 per cent since a year ago, with the biggest increases in social care, education and health.
The positive news followed the latest official employment statistics which showed the jobless total in the North-East had dropped to its lowest level for more than two years.
The number of jobless in the region in the three months to November dropped by 10,000 to 119,000, an unemployment rate of 9.1 per cent, according to the Office of National Statistics. In the last 12 months unemployment has dropped by 36,000.
James Reed, chairman of reed.co.uk, said: "Throughout the downturn a number of commentators have been predicting a torrid time for the UK jobs market but, five years later, they have all been proved profoundly wrong.
"Today's reality is a steadily strengthening jobs market, with our data showing that the demand for new staff has grown robustly over the past 12 months.
"Jobseekers are also becoming more active as they grow in confidence to pursue new opportunities.
"Even if the statistics confirm a triple-dip recession in the UK, the growing capacity in the labour market suggests that business confidence is returning and any recession is unlikely to be long-lasting."
A separate report by recruitment firm Astbury Marsden showed that the number of jobs created in the City of London trebled to more than 2,500 last month compared with January 2012.
Chief operating officer Mark Cameron said: "The City jobs market has bounced back, but that rebound is from absolute rock bottom in December. We are still far from having turned the corner on the poor jobs market of 2012.
"New job creation in the City has been extremely depressed as politicians and regulators have put enormous pressure on the investment banks to scale back activity."