January 4, 2012 – Job opportunities were 17 percent higher in December compared to the same time last year and more than a fifth higher than two years ago, according to the Reed Jobs Index analysis of job vacancy trends from over 8,000 recruiters across the U.K. Seasonal falls in vacancies saw month-on-month Index figures down 12 points (nine percent) in December compared to November, although two job sectors – hospitality jobs and purchasing – bucked the downward trend. This brought the December 2011 Index back to September's level, making it 21 percent higher than two year's ago when the Index was set at 100 in December 2009. However two key job areas have declined over the last 12 months: demand for public sector staff continues to collapse, and is 15 percent below this time last year and a third of its level two years ago; demand for financial services staff levelled off in December to a little below its level of 12 months ago. “The year-on-year increase in demand for new staff is particularly striking against the backdrop of economic turmoil of the last few months. The traditional seasonal drop in recruitment activity in December has had its impact against the two-year highs recorded in November, but the fact that the number of new job vacancies on offer remains 17 percent higher than 12 months ago is significant,” said Martin Warnes, managing director of reed.co.uk.