West Midlands employers continue to take a positive outlook on the jobs market – with growth in the professional services market particularly strong – according to a new survey.

The region has a reading of nine per cent for the second quarter of 2013, the highest for five years, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

The outlook in the West Midlands has been steadily increasing quarter on quarter from a score of one per cent in quarter two 2012.

Nationally the outlook is six per cent for the second consecutive quarter.

The survey is based on responses from 2,100 UK employers about whether they intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.

Krissie Davies, operations director at Manpower, said: “Whilst there has been a significant drop off in generic roles in the region we are witnessing a surge in hiring from the professional services market.

“The recession forced many companies to cut front line staff in an effort to reduce costs, however we are noticing that many employers are realising that there is a very real need to invest in order to deliver future growth – which is good news for jobs seekers in the West Midlands.

“The SME market is demonstrating more activity than its larger peers as they are prepared to pay well in order to secure the right candidate – suggesting a commitment to investing for the future.”

Manpower estimates up to 20,000 new jobs have been created nationally by the big banks to service PPI claims, without factoring in posts created by the various claims management companies.

The company also claims there is renewed interest in public sector hiring, which is set to outpace private sector hiring in the second quarter of 2013.

But black spots remain – construction has an outlook of -11 per cent.

Although this represents an improvement on last quarter, the construction sector has now recorded a negative outlook every quarter for the last five years.