"It was uplifting to discover once you push aside the gloom and doom headlines, there are good things happening in our industry." With lockdown continuing, and other issues facing the economy in Northern Ireland right now such as the effects of Brexit, you need to search hard for positive news.Staffline's Northern Ireland Managing Director Donna Parker attended the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s NI Regional Policy Forum alongside some recruitment industry peers this morning and some very positive signs for the Northern Irish job market. Read our key takeaways from the Regional Policy Forum below. According to Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) members, demand for temporary staff continued to increase in January as many employers turned to the benefits of a flexible workforce to help them manage their headcount in the face of the ongoing uncertainty. This growth was particularly strong in the health and social care market which you might expect, but also in blue collar sectors like manufacturing and logistics. This growth is reflected through our own job library, which sees manufacturing and logistics top the table for the most current vacancies. There were over 21,000 active job advertisements in Northern Ireland in January, 31% more than January 2020, and we have seen one of the largest increases in job advertisements in the UK since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Sector specific data can be seen below: Employer confidence is certainly growing. While across the UK net employer confidencer reached +5, in Northern Ireland it reached +19 (according to the latest REC JobsOutlook), outlining the optimism amongst employers in Northern Ireland at present. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of remote working. Donna Parker outlines how this has been beneficial for the workforce in NI- "We are certainly finding that this helping to improve inclusion and diversity in the employment market by enabling new cohorts of job seekers to enter the market for the first time as it offers them the flexibility that they need that previously may been unavailable to them. This has been a positive that has arisen out of the crisis and certainly one that we hope to see continuing long after the pandemic." It was also reported in the Regional Forum that a recruiter helps someone get a permanent job every 21 seconds, and that recruiters help 300,000 people every year out of unemployment and 100,000 young people into their first job every year- which is a resounding success story by anyone’s standards! So whilst it's easy to get caught up in negativity, there is a world of opportunity out there and our teams at Staffline can help you find it. If you find yourself looking for employment or perhaps a new challenge, browse all our 300+ live vacancies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland at www.staffline.ie/jobs/.