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New Year, New Start? 2014 Could be the Year for you!

The recent global economic crisis has been one of the worst in living memory and, by some measures, the worst ever worldwide recession.

However, there are plenty of signs that, in the UK at least, the worst may be over. Unless there is some unforeseen economic disaster, 2014 should be a pretty good year for UK job seekers. Anderselite take a look at some of the positive signs that employment opportunities will be easier to come by in
2014 compared to the last few years: 

UK economic growth
The UK economy is expected to grow by 1.4% in 2013 and 2.4% in 2014. These revised figures were published in December 2013 by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Previously the OBR had predicted the economy to grow by just 0.6% in 2013 and 1.8% in 2014.

These figures are even more impressive when compared to the Eurozone as a whole which is predicted to grow by just 1% in 2014. Even the German economy is only expected to expand by 1.4% in 2014.

The IMF also predicts a good year for the UK in 2014 with an expected economic expansion of 1.9%. The Bank of England is even more positive, it expects the UK economy to grow by 1.6% in 2013 (uprated from 1.4%) and by 2.8% in 2014 (uprated from 2.5%).

To put these figures into some sort of perspective, in 2012 the UK's economy grew by just 0.1%.

So what does this mean for job seekers?
Economic growth generally means job creation. As businesses grow in size they usually need to invest in more staff. A decent level of national economic growth also makes business owners more confident in expanding their businesses even further which drives further growth and creates a 'positive feedback loop'.

Economic growth can also lead to increased public spending by the government which, in turn, creates more wealth and job opportunities.

Finally, decent growth figures can drive consumer confidence and increase consumer spending. This shifts money from bank accounts to the high street which also creates wealth and employment.

Employment trends
Unemployment is still high in the UK, but is falling rapidly. According to the ONS, during the three months leading to September, the number of those out of work decreased by 48,000 and was 2.47 million in total.

These figures give an unemployment rate of 7.6% among the economically active proportion of the UK population. This is the lowest rate since the middle of 2010. In the country as a whole, 29.95 million people are in work.

Of the UK's unemployed population, 1.31 million claimed Jobseeker's Allowance in October 2013, a fall of 41,700.

The Bank of England expects unemployment to decrease by 7% by the end of 2014. It also believes that there's around a 40% chance of employment falling to 7% by the last quarter of 2014. This is approximately double the probability stated in the bank's August Inflation Report.

Jobs are currently being created at the rate of around of 60,000 every month. So, in general, it seems that jobs are being created and unemployment falling. However, some observers have raised concerns over the quality and permanency of these new jobs.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has stated that inflation is at its lowest rate since 2009 and he has committed the bank to keeping interest rates at the record low of 0.5% until unemployment reaches 7%.

Even after this threshold is reached, Carney may not choose to increase rates believing that this could "pull the rug from under the recovery", due its negative effect on the housing market.

The cause of the high levels of unemployment recently experienced in the UK was recession caused by a global economic crisis. The UK appears to be recovering from this downturn faster than many of its rivals (in terms of economic growth) which can only be good for employment prospects.

Additionally, unemployment rates are falling which points to high levels of job creation. Although there are concerns over the quality of these jobs.

Finally, inflation is low and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. This has the effect of stabilising the economy and making for a slow and steady recovery.

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