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Number of UK job vacancies rising at 15-year high

Over the past year or so, there has been an air of resurgence about the job market.

With the number of people out of work soaring past the 2.5 million mark, there have gradual falls from quarter to quarter,badnewsgoodnewswith the last three months of 2013 proving no exception. Over that period, the number of people out of work fell by 125,000, although the actual rate of unemployment rose slightly to 7.2%.

Released at roughly the same time as the employment stats from the Office of National Statistics, it was revealed that the number of job vacancies had risen at such a rate that a 15-year high was achieved. This shows that there are opportunities to get into employment to a certain extent, while there is further proof of the job market entering a state of recovery.

Graduate glee?

In January, the number of vacancies available rose to 580,000, although this figure still pales into comparison with the total number of people still out of work, which is north of two million. Nevertheless, there is some good news for job-seeking graduates, as the total number of vacancies for them is expected to rise by just a shade over 10%.

This is likely to stay the same for the short-term, following recent positive trends, but there are a few anomalies which newscould help to drag down any future recovery in number of jobs available. The biggest one of all is the number of part-time roles available, which outweigh the number of full-time vacancies, while many people are declaring themselves self-employed.

Distorted figures

That, coupled with the actual rate of unemployment rising slightly may help to stave off any potential interest rate rise implemented by the Bank of England. About that possibility, Rosemary Okolie, Market Analyst at City Index said:

“The small rise in unemployment rate to 7.2% was somewhat surprising given that expectations were that the rate would likely stay the same.  It does, however, reinforce belief that interest rates are likely to stay put for the time being.

“The initial interest rate rise target was an unemployment rate of 7%, however additional variables were added last week, putting at bay an imminent interest rate rise.  The latest unemployment rate reinforces that view,” she concluded.

Gradual shift

While unemployment in general has been gradually declining, all eyes will be on whether the number of full-time and graduate roles continues to rise. If so, then the part-time and self-employment booms may soon be overshadowed, giving any future figures relating to unemployment and job vacancies a little more legitimacy.

Any changes of this nature are likely to take a while to materialise. This means that for the next few months, the majority of job vacancies are likely to be part-time.


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