New research from recruitment agency Reed has indicated that the number of employment opportunities open to job seekers took a tumble last month, although salaries recovered after months of falls.

The firm revealed that its Reed Job Index dropped from 111 in November to 104 in December, with further pressure added to the UK jobs market by the increased number of public sector redundancies made in the run-up to Christmas.

“There are good grounds for cautious optimism about new job prospects in 2011,” said managing director Martin Warnes. “Rising private sector demand has been enough to create year-on-year growth overall.”

He added that in 2010, the market avoided the “double dip” which had been feared as a result of the cutbacks in government spending and insisted private sector demand for new workers remains on track.

However, a recent report from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development warned that the situation remains precarious and unemployment could top 2.7 million by the end of 2011.

Posted by Cameron Thomson