Adecco is predicting gradual growth in some sectors in the jobs market in 2012, particularly in the HR and IT sectors. A welcome boost may be felt as early as January as tens of thousands of new jobs are created in the run up to the London 2012 Games.

The latest figures from the Adecco’s Job Watch indicate that hiring slowed down considerably towards the end of 2011, with a reduction in both temporary and permanent advertised vacancies in December compared to previous months. Within the retail sector in particular, despite the festive season, there was a dramatic reduction in temporary workers. However, the retail sector did witness a rise in permanent advertised vacancies, which could go some way to explaining the decline in vacancies for temporary staff. The increase in permanent vacancies as we enter the New Year implies that 2012 could be a more positive year for the retail sector.

Overall, in the last few months of 2011, hiring did slow down, but a few pockets of growth provided hope for the jobs market in the New Year. HR and IT in particular saw tentative growth, representing the first positive signs in the jobs market for more than six months.

Due to the number of jobseekers available, Adecco is seeing a very high level of competition for roles across all sectors. Meanwhile, many companies are under a lot of financial pressure and it is crucial that they hire the correct person for each role. Combined, these themes mean that hiring managers can afford to be selective in who they hire, and are increasingly asking for very specific skills and experience. Young people in particular must be realistic about their skills set and willing to take the jobs offered in order to gain valuable work experience.

Although 2012 will continue to be challenging for jobseekers, there is no doubt that the market will receive a welcome boost with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, before, during and even after the event. The London 2012 Games are expected to generate tens of thousands of new roles, from catering and tourism, to security and cleaning, as well as technical and professional roles. They will provide UK workers with the opportunity to do something new and exciting and to develop new skills for the future.

As well as jobs being created directly by the London 2012 Games, Adecco is also stressing that businesses must prepare for the potential temporary staff they might need to provide cover for extensive staff holiday during the event. This is expected to further inject a well needed boom into the industry.

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

“Although there have undoubtedly been some problem areas over the past six months, there has also been evidence of gradual growth in key sectors, which is very positive for jobseekers. There are still jobs out there, and it is important that jobseekers do not give up and boost their chances of finding a job by successfully selling their skills, considering all options and seeking out opportunities.

“We see the London 2012 Games as a catalyst for change and a reminder that no matter what is going on in the wider economic climate, there are always opportunities to do something new and innovative. The tens of thousands of jobs created by the Olympic and Paralympic Games will provide individuals with the potential to apply for jobs outside of their usual industry, helping them to explore new interests and gain new skills and experience.”