A leading employment index for the UK has shown that recruitment demand has reached a record high throughout February.

The Reed Job Index, which measures job opportunities across Britain, rose by 18 points from its figure for January to 131, and registered a 27 point rise from its position in February 2010. The figure for February is the highest the index has ever reached since it was first started in December 2009.

The index analyses the recruitment demand in 27 different employment sectors in UK private industry. It measures the number of new jobs opportunities on offer on a month-by-month basis and sets them against a baseline of 100.

Industries where demand was registered as being 50 per cent or more above the baseline of the index include engineering, IT and telecoms, leisure and tourism, and transport and logistics.

“UK employers are still in job-creation mode, according to the latest Reed Job Index, with 26 per cent more new jobs on offer now compared to a year ago,” said Reed’s managing director, Martin Warnes.

“Employers right across the private sector are showing their confidence by recruiting new staff, at a time when high competition for new jobs is still keeping a cap on salaries,” he added.

Private sector employment was the obvious driver of the rise, with public sector employment opportunities proving to be particularly weak. New public sector jobs on offer were only just over half the level that they were when the index first began, at 51.

Geoff Newman, chief executive on online recruitment agency Recruitment Genius feels equally confident “We have to remember that Reed launched a large advertising campaign and January is always a busy month, but even so both the growth Recruitment Genius and Reed are facing is reassuring. Finally it appears there are green shoots, rather than weeds growing.

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