The number of people registered as unemployed in the UK fell towards the end of last year by 82,000 and should the trend continue we can expect to see many more people in employment by the end of 2013.

For the more than two and a half million people who remain unemployed that may well seem like little consolation for now but it would at least appear that some sort of recovery might be under way.

Troublesome statistics

There has been an increase in people undertaking part-time work which can muddy the figures somewhat as it is difficult to decipher whether that relates to people who had previously not been in work or people who had previously been in work but had their hours cut. Further complications to the figures arise when you consider that the unemployment figures relate only to people who are not working, actively seeking work and able to start work within two weeks. That is the criteria for Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) but there are an increasing number of situations in which people who are not able to find work are not eligible for Job Seeker’s Allowance.

So it can be difficult to tell on statistics alone how well the job market is doing as it may seem relatively simple to manipulate or interpret figures in different ways. It is also possible for any set of goalposts to shift overnight which will significantly alter employment figures without the actual creation of any new jobs.

The job market

The best way to consider how the job market is doing, albeit on a local level, is to go out and find out for yourself. Are people queuing down the road for the job centre? Are there many positions being posted on job web sites? The local employment agency offices are a good way to gauge any growth, do they have many positions available or coming up?

Employment and the financial industry

Jobs in banking and construction have typically been the hardest hit in the last few years but even they seem to be showing signs of recovery. Typically the first signs of growth in such industries are the rise of temporary work, again usually through the larger employment agencies whilst the market settles down. It’s not just job-seekers that are nervous; the industries are too.

They are keen to keep their overhead and projected costs down until such a time as the growth is more sustained and hiring temporary workers is one of the ways in which they do that. Using a dedicated recruiter who targets financial industries is the best course of action when seeking jobs in these areas and could help you secure a position in a much shorter time frame.