Embargoed to 0001 Thursday October 15

Firms that have adapted to the virus crisis are recruiting workers and bringing staff back from furlough, a new study suggests.

Recruitment firm Reed reported an increase in vacancies last month, 13% up on August - led by jobs in construction, logistics and leisure.

But the jobs market remains 39% behind January levels, leading to increased competition among candidates, said Reed.

London is the only region in England, Wales and Scotland to be posting below 50% of jobs it advertised at the start of the year, the research indicated.

Reed chairman James Reed said: "As we come to the end of furlough, new jobs are being created and some sectors are delivering really encouraging news.

"The businesses that are starting to grow once more have adapted and are now recruiting and bringing people back from furlough to ensure this extra talent makes them stronger.

"It is this positive attitude, together with their adaptability that will make these businesses valuable. If we are to continue this progress, restrictions aside, we must continue to learn and evolve.

"But considerable concerns remain about jobs. As the replacement for the furlough scheme begins at the start of November, there will be some companies that cannot afford to pay 55% of wages and jobs will be lost."