Headlines: August 4th, 2010

The steep decline in public sector jobs is now clearly apparent in the Reed Job Index which reveals that it has the lowest index number of all the sectors. Each month the Job Index tracks the number of new job opportunities and salaries on offer compared to the previous month and against a baseline of 100 set in December last year.

At the end of June the index for the public sector was 63, down from 97 in May and 74 in June. The Index is compiled by data drawn from on-line job vacancies and job-seeker activity on reed.co.uk. It is therefore measuring new job activity and it reflects the recruitment freeze applied by many public bodies.

Education was down to 89 from 98 the previous month. Social care was down to 69 from 72 the previous month.

The leaders in the index were Manufacturing with a 16 per cent rise from March lows, to record high at 114. General Insurance rose 27 per cent in the half year to a record high at 138. Pre-qualified Accountancy rose 14 per cent in the half year to a record high at 114. The largest increase was in the Charity & Voluntary where the index now stands at 147. Overall, the Index was down 1 point to 102.

The index also gives details of salary movements for job vacancies, with the public sector at 105, unchanged from the previous month. Overall, salaries for new jobs stayed steady to give an Index reading of 95 for the third month running. While starting salaries remain five per cent below the December 2009 Index base line figure, the underlying level is stable and just starting to trend upwards to give a national average salary for the Index of £31,909 in July compared to £31,879 in June.