The number of job vacancies advertised so far this year suggests that the job market is bouncing back, says Adecco, one of the UK’s leading recruiters. Falling numbers of vacancies in the second half of 2011 suggested that growth would be slow going into the New Year, but figures for January 2012 paint a more positive picture than predicted.

In an unexpectedly positive start to the year, the majority of sectors within the UK have shown increases in the number of job vacancies advertised compared to last year. Financial Services, Accountancy and Telecoms industries in particular are all showing positive signs of growth with a rising number of advertised vacancies. The Public Sector is also showing cautious signs of growth, despite well-publicised cuts throughout 2011.

In late 2011, HR and IT were the only two sectors showing tentative growth, but as we enter 2012, this improvement is beginning to be outstripped by other disciplines. However, these industries are still reporting steady growth, possibly signalling a more balanced and long-term prospect for jobseekers.

Meanwhile, the Retail sector continued its trajectory from December, with a rising number of permanent job vacancies advertised, but a drop in the number of temporary vacancies. While this is to be expected as Christmas came to an end, the increase in advertised permanent vacancies suggests a longer-term confidence. This supports recent research from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which showed that overall UK retail sales grew by 2% in volume last month, compared to the same time last year, and by 4.4% in value.

Steven Kirkpatrick, Managing Director, Adecco – the UK’s largest recruiter, said:

“This is a positive step, although only time will tell whether it represents a genuine rise in confidence for 2012, or whether companies are simply testing the water to see what talent is out there as they enter a new year. While the improvements in the Public Sector are minimal, it’s encouraging to see any progress at all in a sector which has seen such large budget cuts in recent months. Meanwhile, the retail sector looks poised for a comeback after a difficult Christmas period.”