New figures released today call into question recent reports that London is racing far ahead of the rest of the UK in creating new jobs and is draining the nation’s talent pool. According to the latest employment trends report from recruitment firm Venn Group, professional job seekers across the UK’s regions are enjoying the fruits of the economic recovery, with year-on-year vacancies jumping across the board.
Venn Group’s data revealed that, whilst job opportunities in London are up +5% year-on-year, the regions are also experiencing improvement; casting doubt on recent claims by the Centre for Cities that other metropolitan areas are ‘punching below their weight’.
Vacancies have risen by +31% in the Thames Valley, +25% in the Midlands, +24% in the North East, +20% in the South West, and +8% in the Central and East region over the same period.
Venn Group’s data also shows that, across all regions, the private sector is fuelling the impressive jobs growth, with vacancies up by +26% year-on-year, compared with just +4% within the public sector.
In particular, resurgence in projects, which had been on hold during the financial downturn, such as the upgrading of IT systems, has led to a surge in professional positions. Across the Thames Valley, successful FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and light manufacturing businesses have driven demand for IT and finance roles, while in the Midlands, the continued boom in manufacturing, particularly within the automotive industry, is also boosting professional opportunities.
In the North East, positivity within the property market has led to an upswing in legal recruitment, whereas in the South West building and construction is behind a hike in demand for project administrators and accountants. The Central East area is benefitting from a number of large companies making major investments in distribution hubs in the region, which in turn is having a positive impact on job creation.
Jodie Finn, Venn Group’s national accounts manager, commented: “London may be perceived as the economic hub of the UK, and its performance obviously impacts on the rest of the country, so it’s reassuring to see jobs are on the up in the capital. However, our data certainly casts an element of doubt over the recent doom and gloom stories of an increasing chasm between London and the regions, and the accusation that cities; such as Sheffield and Manchester, are punching below their economic weight. We certainly shouldn’t underestimate the positive impact the regions are having on the nation’s economic recovery as a whole.”
“The signs are that, with GDP showing its most positive performance in years, throughout 2014 more and more companies will have the confidence to invest in staff, which is good news for interim and contract professionals in London and throughout the UK,” Ms Finn concluded.