- In the week of 13-19 September, there were 1.90 million active job adverts in the UK, a new record high
- There were around 223,000 new job adverts posted in the same week – the second highest weekly figure since data collection began
- Every upper tier local authority in the UK recorded at least a marginal increase in active job postings last week
- Four out of the UK’s top ten hiring hotspots were in Scotland last week
- Rise in adverts for education roles last week, as schools and universities welcomed back students
In the week of 13-19 September, there were 1.90 million active job adverts posted in the UK, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker. This is a new record high for the tracker, which started collecting data in January 2020.
There were 223,000 new job adverts posted last week, the second highest weekly figure since data collection began. Moreover, this growth was seen across the entire country, with every upper tier local authority in the UK seeing a rise in active job postings last week. This all suggests that the current labour shortage problems are not going away as demand for staff increases.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:
“Job postings are rising in every area of the UK. That’s good news, and we are seeing more employees starting new positions than ever – but demand from employers is even higher still. There is a real chance now that shortages of available workers will slow the recovery. A recent REC survey of recruiters found that three in five have over 30% more vacancies than usual, and 97% said it’s taking longer to fill them. Labour shortages and the related recruitment difficulties put constraints on the economy, restricting output growth and innovation, so it’s vital we solve them quickly.
“Government departments must come together with industry experts to solve the shortage crisis with pragmatic and practical steps. But politicians and businesses must also do their part individually – government by addressing training at lower skill levels and allowing more flexibility in the immigration system; and companies by improving workforce planning and focusing on improved conditions and facilities as ways to attract and retain staff, not just pay.”
While growth was recorded in every local area in the UK, Scotland saw the largest increase in active job postings last week. Four out of the top ten hiring hotspots last week were in Scotland, the most notable being Na h-Eileanan Siar (+29.0%). This was followed by the Shetland Islands (+21.9%), Perth and Kinross and Stirling (+17.8%) and the Orkney Islands (+13.1%).
Thurrock (+1.3%), North and North East Lincolnshire (+1.5%), and Isle of Wight (+1.5%) were the areas that recorded only a marginal increase in active job postings compared to the rest of the UK.
There was a significant increase in adverts for education roles as students returned to classrooms in September. Support roles such as school secretaries (+17.6%), school midday and crossing patrol occupations (+16.4%), educational support assistants (+9.8%), and caretakers (+9.6%) recorded the highest increases in active job postings in the week of 13-19 September.
On the other hand, dispensing opticians (-11.4%), photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators (-9.2%), and pharmacy and other dispensing assistants (-7.2%) saw the steepest weekly declines in active job adverts.
Matt Mee, Director of Workforce Intelligence at Emsi Burning Glass, said:
“The labour market in the UK is in a somewhat odd position at the moment. On the one hand, we are seeing a very high number of vacancies and job postings. On the other hand, employers in a number of sectors are reporting that they are really struggling to fill these positions, which is not really something we would have expected to see a few months ago. Nor is this a peculiarly British phenomenon, with a recent survey of 45,000 companies across 43 countries showing 69% of organisations reporting difficulties in filling roles. Although this appears to be driven by a variety of factors, what it suggests is that employers are going to have to work harder to fill their vacancies if they are to survive and thrive. This might mean a number of things, including raising the salaries they are offering; charting clearer and better career progressions for employees; looking for talent pools in other areas; and seeking to create better and more flexible working conditions to attract new workers.”