Tag: Job Vacancies

Job market appears to be slowing down as we head deeper into 2022

Recent data from Broadbean Technology indicates that job numbers are beginning to slow following the spike in vacancies during the first quarter of this year.

Vacancy figures were down 55% between March and April 2022, and the data also suggested that job application numbers continue to decline. The statistics suggest that the lack of resources agrees the UK is impacting job market growth.

Further information from Broadbean also shows a 37% decline in the number of vacancies year-on-year between April 2021 and April 2022. This could be due to the hiring spike reported last year when UK businesses prepared for Freedom Day in 2021. Similarly, applications decreased by 75% month-on-month and 75% year-on-year.

Looking at the data by sector, the following industries saw significant drops in applications

  • Application numbers in the IT sector fell 72% between March and April of this year
  • The logistics sector saw a drop of 77%
  • Building & construction were down 75%

With talent shortages reported across all three of these sectors, these numbers come as no surprise.

Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology, commented: “The UK’s skills crisis is continuing to be a focal issue, and for good reason as our data shows that these shortages are impacting almost every business, across every sector. While the sudden rise in recruitment activity received a warm welcome at the beginning of 2021, we are beginning to see signs of vacancy numbers slowing down over a year later. Given the dearth of available resources, there’s a high chance that this drop in new vacancies is simply a sign that businesses cannot fill roles they’ve had open for some time and are unlikely to add any more roles if they cannot meet the current operational needs.”

“For employers and recruiters, now is a critical time. Businesses need to rebuild and nurture dwindling talent pools, utilise innovative technology and maximise partnerships with external talent suppliers in order to find the resources that are needed. Difficult times are ahead for the UK economy, and we need a recruitment market that can best support economic growth.”

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UK vacancies up 48% year-on-year

The locations with the highest rates of jobseekers have been revealed in a new study. London, Manchester, Birmingham, and towns on London’s commuter belt topped the list. The study results indicate that as offices reopen and daily commuting re-commence, workers are searching for roles closer to home.

The research by job search engine Adzuna also revealed that every advertised London-based job ad received an average of 65 views during April – indicative of high job churn in the capital city and centre of the Great Resignation in the UK.

Second on the list of jobseeker activity was Manchester, with over nine views for every job listing. Birmingham was third at over seven views per ad.

Edinburgh, Scotland, and Cardiff, Wales, also featured on this list, with view rates of 2.5 and 1.83, respectively. Northern Ireland, however, didn’t feature on the list – possibly showing that the Great Resignation has not reached them yet.

Further findings for April 2022 included:

  • Advertised vacancies in the UK were up 48% year-on-year, to 1,298,581.
  • Over half a million vacancies were on offer across London and surrounding areas.
  • The average advertised salary in London and surrounding commutable areas was £45,515.
  • The average advertised UK salary was £36,587 in April. This is 3% lower than 12 months ago (£37,898).
  • The number of advertised vacancies has exceeded the number of job seekers for the first time.

The study also revealed a growing interest in jobs within commuter towns. Slough and Heathrow experienced the fourth-highest jobseeker activity level. While traditionally, workers in these locations would have commuted into London, they are now looking for jobs closer to home. Job ads, on average, received over four views per posting in these areas.

There was also high jobseeker demand in other commuter towns around London:

  • Chelmsford (2.47)
  • Reading (2.45)
  • Guildford and Aldershot (2.07)
  • Luton (1.88)
  • Crawley (1.87)

The commuter belt towns accounted for a fifth of the list of top 30 UK towns and cities with the highest jobseeker activity.

Looking across the UK, England had the highest activity from jobseekers, with an average of 3.6 views per job ad. Rates were much lower across the rest of the UK with Scotland at 0.26, Wales at 0.11 and Northern Ireland at only 0.03.

Paul Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at Adzuna, comments: “London is at the core of the Great Resignation in the UK, but our data reveals the trend is spreading out fast. In particular, jobs in commuter towns are seeing high interest levels driven by a renewed interest from Brits to spend more time at home. As offices have reopened and commutes have restarted, workers are looking for close to home options that will continue to give them the flexibility they got used to over the pandemic and various lockdowns, be that picking the kids up from school, or simply working flexible hours. The return-to-office is a huge driver of the current high movement between jobs, and companies offering fully remote options, or even much publicised ‘work from anywhere’ policies, are stealing a march on the competition and coming out on top.”

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2022 to be another record-breaking year
According to research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), vacancies across Wales continue to rise. Vacancy levels in 2022 are set to be 196% higher than the three-year average for 2018 – 2020.

Business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft provided the data, which shows that new jobs were up 88.2% in January this year, compared to the same month last year, marking a new milestone for recruitment levels across the country.

A further finding was that real estate saw the greatest increase in recruitment across all sectors. Jobs in this sector increased by 184% year-on-year, likely due to the unprecedented interest in the Welsh housing market.

The research also showed that IT experts were in highest demand throughout Wales. Throughout the pandemic, recruiting for IT specialists was steady and accounted for 16.3% of all new vacancies across the country in 2021. Jobs in the engineering sector saw the greatest increase, with recruitment up 275.9% year-on-year.

These reported figures are in keeping with trends across the UK which continue to show record-breaking vacancy numbers online. With evident skills shortages across the country, the turbulent, candidate-driven market shows no signs of abating.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented: “Despite Omicron threatening the UK’s economic recovery, Wales began 2022 with record-breaking recruitment levels, however, while the professional sectors are currently holding up well, skills shortages are evident across almost every specialism. The data suggests that recruitment demand will only continue to grow across Wales for the rest of this year and with experts such as IT professionals in high demand, but short supply, businesses will find sourcing the best talent becomes increasingly difficult.”

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ONS stats show increase in economic inactivity

The latest figures from the ONS have been released and what stands out is that even though average pay rises for the first quarter are at an average of 4% (excluding bonuses), this appears well below inflation. However, in real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total pay was 0.4% and regular pay fell on the year at negative 1.0%. Strong bonus payments over the past six months have kept recent real total pay growth positive but employers may find it even harder to retain talent through salary increases alone as the cost-of-living crisis continues in the UK.

The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) showed that for December 2021 to February 2022 the employment rate remains unchanged on the quarter, while the unemployment rate decreased. Over the same period, the economic inactivity rate has increased slightly which signals a slight dip in the economic rebound following the end of the pandemic with inactivity increasing by 0.2 percentage points to 21.4% from December to February 2022.

There was a noteworthy increase, albeit small, in the number of payrolled employees for March 2022 which is up 35,000 on the revised February 2022 to a record 29.6 million.

The report showed that once again, the number of job vacancies in January to March 2022 rose to a new record of 1,288,000, with the rate of growth in vacancies continuing to slow down.

Jon Keeble, employment partner at DWF commented on the latest report: “The latest ONS labour market figures demonstrate continued resilience in the labour market. The highlights for the period between December 2021 and February 2022 show a largely unchanged employment rate of 75.5%.

“With legal requirements largely removed across the UK and a shift over to personal responsibility we are very much in the phase of having to live with COVID-19. Although employers are now faced with a number of practical challenges as we enter this next chapter, the relaxation of restrictions should have a positive effect on the labour market.

“We are yet to see what impact the cost-of-living crisis will have on the labour market and whether the Chancellor’s Spring Statement and the rise in the National Minimum Wage will provide sufficient support.  Undoubtedly, employees who are struggling to cope financially will be seeking out those employers, which are able to provide the most attractive rewards package.”

James Reed, Chairman of Reed.co.uk, also commented: “The economy is facing a crunch point as businesses contend with serious challenges, from rapidly rising inflation to severe labour shortages. The jobs boom that began last year continues to be reflected in the ONS’s labour market statistics. With job postings on Reed.co.uk in March increasing 18% year-on-year and 14% month-on-month, this trend shows little sign of slowing. But with economic growth now as low as 0.1% and unemployment at historic lows, the jobs boom is in danger of becoming a jobs overload.”

“The difficulties businesses now face in hiring staff, are having a knock-on effect on supply chains, production output and the quality of goods and services. This is slowing the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

“There are now 8.8 million people who are economically inactive in the UK, which is 600,000 more than at the start of the pandemic. This is a symptom of what I call ‘The Great Lie Down’, with many workers leaving the workforce altogether, some through long term sickness and others preferring early retirement or different lifestyle choices. If these workers are to be coaxed back, they will need convincing with attractive employment arrangements, higher wages and better conditions and benefits.

“Currently, less than 20% of these people who are economically inactive say they would like a regular, paid job. However, if it was possible to help this group find work then that would be of great benefit to both them and the economy.”

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The top job on the list isn’t what you’d expect

Glassdoor, the global insight business on jobs and companies, has released the 25 Best Jobs in the UK list for 2022.

The curated list combines salaries and overall job satisfaction ratings taken from hundreds of thousands of employee reviews on Glassdoor along with the number of job openings to create an overall Glassdoor Job Score.

Tech trumps

Top job on the list is a Java Developer with a Glassdoor Job Score of 4.6, having first appeared on the 2021 Best Jobs list in 25th place. The role is one of 11 STEM (science, tech, engineering, maths) jobs featured on the 2022 list and is reflective of the industry’s ability to offer a good work/life balance and flexible work options. These are factors that Glassdoor research has shown to positively impact employee happiness. However, just one in four STEM roles are held by women but is predicted to increase to 30% by 2030.

The top earning job on the list is the Enterprise Manager with an average salary of £73,898 while a Corporate Recruiter ranks the best for job satisfaction (4.6). The most in-demand job is a Software Engineer with 3,599 active job openings which indicates the need for businesses across all industries to accelerate digital transformations to stay relevant in the increasingly digital world.

The top ten Best Jobs in the UK for 2022 are:

  1. Java Developer (4.60 Glassdoor Job Score / 71% remote job openings)
  2. Enterprise Architect (4.59 / 91%)
  3. Product Manager (4.58 / 88%)
  4. Full Stack Engineer (4.55/ 92%)
  5. Data Scientist (4.54 / 88%)
  6. HR Manager (4.53 / 87%)
  7. Corporate Recruiter (4.52 / 83%)
  8. HR Business Partner (4.49 / 92%)
  9. Front End Engineer (4.48 / 76%)
  10. Marketing Manager (4.48 / 79%)

Hybrid working wins

According to the survey, hybrid work policies remain important to UK workers. In Glassdoor employee reviews, discussions on the topic soared over 1,000 percent in 2021, so the survey infers that all the roles on the Best Jobs list offer high levels of remote working.

Job vacancies remain at an all-time high and subsequently Glassdoor expects hiring will remain challenging through 2022 and this has resulted in companies paying more attention to the employee experience and putting it at the heart of business operations. As a result, findings from the Best Jobs list saw more HR and recruitment roles than last year (#6 HR Manager, #7 Corporate Recruiter and #8 HR Business Partner) as companies look for better ways to attract and retain their talent as well as to sustain better ways of working in the newly-shaped working landscape.

There were six new roles added to the rankings in this year’s report: #7 Corporate Recruiter, #11 UX Designer, #17 Software Engineer, #22 Finance Manager, #24 Consultant and #25 Procurement Agent.

There were also six roles that were removed from the top 25 in 2022. They are: Dentist (former #3), Tax Manager (former #7), Commercial Manager (former #9), Risk Manager (former #13), Information Security Engineer (former #18), and Site Manager (former #24).

Glassdoor economist Lauren Thomas commented: “Glassdoor’s Best Jobs list is reflective of the wider workplace trends we are currently seeing in the UK. Employees want more hybrid working and a better work/life balance ­– areas which technology and STEM roles have historically excelled in. HR positions are also well represented on the list as the current tightness of the labour market has forced employers to rethink their investment in employee experience.”

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80% of industries reporting record job vacancies

According to the latest labour market stats from the ONS, October saw 29.3 million employees, up by 160,000 on the revised September statistics. However, it was noted that it’s possible these figures may change while furloughed staff, who were made redundant, work out their notice period. But responses to the ONS survey suggest that redundancy numbers are likely to be a small share of those still on furlough when the scheme came to an end.

The Labour Force Survey estimates that for July to September 2021 the employment rate increased 0.4 percentage points on the quarter, to 75.4%. ONS reported that the increase in employment was because of a record high net flow from unemployment to employment. Total job-to-job moves also increased to a record high, largely driven by resignations rather than dismissals, during the same period. The rise is also driven by an increase in part-time work and an increase in the number of people on zero-hour contracts, driven by young people.

The unemployment rate decreased 0.5 percentage points to 4.3% while the inactivity rate remained unchanged at 21.1%.

But we have yet to see the full effects of the end of the furlough scheme and the relevance of zero-hour contracts in these figures. David Head, Director at TALiNT Partners commented: “Zero-hour contracts, if implemented ethically between employer and employee, are perfect because they allow flexibility in the workforce and allow businesses to expand and contract whenever necessary. However, having vast numbers of people on zero-hour contracts will inevitably mask the true numbers of the unemployed.”

The latest figures show that the number of job vacancies in August to October 2021 continued to rise to a new record of 1,172,000. This is an increase of 388,000 from pre-pandemic numbers of January to March 2020 level, with 15 of the 18 industry sectors showing record highs.

During the quarter, annual growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 5.8% and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 4.9%. Annual growth in average employee pay has been affected by temporary factors that have inflated the headline growth rate. These factors are now waning and will have a smaller impact on growth rates, according to the report.

James Reed, Chairman of REED commented on the continued increase of job vacancies: “This ongoing rise in job vacancies is a positive sign of the economy’s continued revival. Rapid job creation means there are plenty of opportunities to go around, and not just for those recently off furlough, but also for others who have faced long or short-term unemployment as well as those already in work who are seeking a new challenge.

“After experiencing a cautious labour market during the pandemic when job opportunities were restricted and workers were less incentivised to move, there has never been a better time to look for a new role than now.”

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A positive candidate experience is likely to result in job offer acceptance

Job vacancies across the UK have reached a record high of 1.03million. When considering the war for talent and according to screening and identity services firm, Sterling, employers must streamline onboarding processes or risk losing candidates to the competition.

Research has found that 60% of job seekers abandon the application process if it takes too long or is too complex with a separate study suggesting that a positive candidate experience makes a candidate 38% more likely to accept a job offer from a company.

Steve Smith, Managing Director, Sterling EMEA commented: “There is no doubt that acute skills shortages across the UK are driving the need for efficient onboarding processes. With rising vacancy numbers and competition for talent intensifying, employers must quite simply streamline background screening processes or risk losing candidates in the process.

“With UK employment now at pre-pandemic levels employers across almost every sector are crying out for skills – and in this jobseeker-driven market, candidate experience can become your competitive advantage.”

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