The outlook for jobs has been given an unexpected boost by the floods as extra staff are taken on to deal with damage caused by the atrocious weather, according to a new report.
Employment firm Manpower said demand for builders and other tradesmen and women had increased, boosting the industry by an estimated £250 million.
Energy firms have also had to recruit more engineers in the past few weeks to help restore power to thousands of homes, as well as more customer service workers to handle compensation claims.
The roll out of smart metering will also create jobs at utility firms into next year, it was predicted.
Manpower said firms in every sector were planning to take on extra staff in the coming months, the first time this had happened for six years.
Research among more than 2,000 employers showed those most optimistic on jobs were in Wales and the North East, while the least hopeful were in Northern Ireland.
Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower, said: “The UK jobs market has reached a turning point.’’