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Glass half-full: jobs market picking up across the UK

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The Recruitment Employers Confederation (REC), one of the largest industry bodies, has started to publish a jobs tracker, based on advertised vacancies, to give an indication of the recovery in the jobs market.

With the caveats that this is a general picture rather than a regional/sectoral analysis (although REC does provide this, up to a point), and, of course, that quite a lot of jobs aren’t advertised, what it does show (see below) is that there is a sustained upward trend and rise in the number of jobs available.

REC job trends graphic

In construction, we all saw the Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reports that in August there had been a slackening of the previous few months’ growth, but there is no doubt that we are getting busier here at Peace and the number of jobs we have on our books has grown broadly in line with the REC graph above.  At the time of writing, we have 40 advertised vacancies on our website, with the expectation that this number will increase over the rest of the year. This is borne out by another finding of the Construction PMI report, namely that “most companies held out hope for better days ahead as the survey’s gauge of business optimism rose to a six-month high.” More specifically, Tim Moore, Economics Director at Markit, said, “Construction firms turned their hopes towards a boost from major infrastructure work and reorienting their sales focus on new areas of growth in the coming 12 months.

This confidence will, surely, take another boost from the suggestion today by the Health Secretary that things are looking good for a vaccine early next year.  This will be a game-changer in my opinion and will be vital if we are to see a V-shaped recovery.  Of course, we are also waiting for the fall-out from the withdrawal of furlough, which will undoubtedly put a lot of people out of work, but the more business confidence increases the more chance there is of new jobs becoming available to help mop up the rise in unemployment. That’s not to deny the challenges ahead, but we will be better placed to meet them with a “glass half-full” mentality rather than its gloomy opposite.  And if you’d like to speak to someone about either your own career prospects or any new jobs your company will have in the near future, you know where to get us!

Alison Blake, Senior Divisional Manager, Peace Recruitment

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