The number of UK job seekers looking to start the new year with a new job has risen for the first time since the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to new data from leading UK recruiter Acorn.

The amount applying for permanent roles with Acorn rose by 20 per cent in January 2020 compared with January 2019.

Figures from the leading specialist recruiter appear to show confidence amongst job seekers, as the numbers looking for work in January dipped by 22 per cent between 2016 and 2018, and then rose again by 25 per cent between 2018 and 2020.

Christian Ash, director of operations at Acorn, said: “While it’s still very early days to be talking about the wider effects Brexit is or isn’t going to have on the UK jobs market, it’s reassuring at least to see for the first time since the result of the referendum that job seekers haven’t been deterred in the run up to the January 31st deadline from seeking new opportunities.

“As experts over many years in providing UK employers with the skills and people they need, for the last three years we have been concerned about the effect that Brexit was having on job seeker confidence. Our data shows that the number of candidates looking to change their outlook and take positive steps to change their careers appear, for the short-term at least, on the rise again and makes for a refreshing start to the year, and to Brexit as a whole. Long may it continue.”

The manufacturing and production, administrative and secretarial, and engineering professions meanwhile emerged as the most popular sectors among those looking to start the new year with a new role, alongside logistics, FMCG, and construction.

Acorn Recruitment works with hundreds of UK and international businesses across a wide range of sectors to bring UK job seekers a range of excellent job opportunities through its network of more than 40 branches nationwide, as well as through its specialist divisions.