Posted on 20th January 2022

While there may be some caution from employers in the face of uncertainty, overall the jobs market remains robust judging by the demand for new staff. The number of active job vacancy postings across the UK has remained robust since mid-August 2022. Active job adverts went above 1.5 million in mid-December 2022 and remained there in the first week of January, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and Lightcast’s latest Labour Market Tracker.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said “January is often a time when employees look for a new role, so it is reassuring to see plenty of options out there for people looking to build their career and raise their wages. While businesses are being a notch more cautious in the face of economic uncertainty, the scale of the shortages we face mean many firms still need to hire.

“It is notable that demand as judged by new job adverts has remained relatively steady for many months now, and this January does not appear to be worse than January 2022 according to our data. For firms expecting hiring to be easier this year, the message is that working hard to get your hiring right is going to be just as important in 2023.

“For governments, these numbers emphasise again the need to tackle labour shortages with reform across our welfare support, skills and immigration systems.”

Occupations with notable increases in job adverts include Police Officers (sergeant and below) (+14.1%), Sports and Leisure Assistants (+11.8%), and Cleaners and Domestics (+9.7%).

The fallout of the pandemic, Brexit and Visa and migration issues mean the natural churn of staff has accelerated in the leisure industry, leaving that industry to compete with the entire service industry, including retail and big hospitality brands, for workers.

In contrast, Ship and Hovercraft Officers (-9.6%), Water and Sewerage Plant Operatives (-8.1%), Building and Civil Engineering Technicians (-5.4%), and Postal Workers, Mail Sorters, Messengers and Couriers (-5.1%) saw the biggest falls in job adverts.

Derby (+27.6%) saw the greatest growth in job adverts in the week of 2-8 Jan 2023, followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees (+8.4%), Norwich and East Norfolk (+8.3%), and East Cumbria (+8.0%).

But Orkney Islands (-9.3%) saw the largest decline in job adverts, followed by Causeway Coast and Glens (-3.6%), Manchester (-3.4%), and City of Bristol (-3.4%).

Elena Magrini, Head of Global Research, Lightcast, said “After the annual Christmas dip in job postings, the first couple of weeks of 2023 have seen postings rise to 180,000, which is close to the average we saw throughout 2022. Even more significantly, new postings are up 24.5% compared to the same time last year. What this suggests is that despite the economic uncertainties of recent months and rising inflation, hiring plans continue to be strong, with significant numbers of new jobs being posted as employers continue to seek new talent and grow their business.”

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