Jobs Recovery Tracker: Rise in job adverts continues in the run-up to Christmas

  • In the first week of November, there were around 221,000 new job adverts posted in the UK – the fourth highest weekly figure since the start of 2020
  • That brought the total number of active job postings to 2.68 million, another new record high
  • Biggest rises in adverts for driving instructors (+32.3%), prison officers (+13.0%), and fork-lift truck drivers (+9.1%)
  • Notable fall in adverts for construction sector roles such as painters and decorators (-17.8%), roofers (-13.4%), and bricklayers (-11.3%)
  • UK’s top hiring hotspot last week was Telford and Wrekin (+19.4%) followed by South Teesside (+13.9%)
  • Meanwhile, three of the bottom ten local areas for growth in job adverts were in the East of England, while London saw a mixed week

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker, there were around 221,000 new job postings in the UK in the first week of November. This is the fourth highest weekly figure since data collection for the tracker began at the beginning of 2020.

Growth in job adverts shows no signs of slowing down in the build up to Christmas, despite concerns about increases in the cost of living and the persistent presence of COVID-19. The total number of active job postings reached 2.68 million last week, another new record high for the tracker.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“The latest job advert numbers show recruitment activity staying strong in the run-up to Christmas. The general positive trend varies by region and sector, however. London has been affected more than other areas by the rise of hybrid working, and its jobs market continues to grow at a slower pace than the rest of the UK. And while roles in logistics and care are in high demand, the construction sector saw a drop-off last week as supply issues constrained the industry’s ability to work to capacity.

“It’s vital that, as the recovery continues, government put measures in place that will help companies invest with confidence, thereby increasing productivity and helping the economy to grow. That includes a revolution in the skills system, especially focused on helping those furthest from the labour market into work. The best way to achieve this is through collaboration between business and government, with joined up planning to meet the economy’s needs and deliver prosperity.”

There was notable growth in active job adverts across a broad range of sectors in early November. The largest increases were for driving instructors (+32.3%) and prison officers (+13.0%). But there was also growth in key occupations including fork-lift truck drivers (+9.1%), secondary school teachers (+9.1%), care workers (+7.1%) and goods packers (+6.8%).

On the other hand, there were declines in job adverts for a number of construction sector jobs, including painters and decorators (-17.8%), roofers (-13.4%), plasterers (-11.3%), bricklayers (-11.3%) and carpenters (-9.1%), as well as other roles in the sector. This comes as supply chain delays and labour shortages put constraints on the building industry.

On a local level, the top hiring hotspot last week was Telford and Wrekin (+19.4%), followed by South Teesside (+13.9%). Swindon, Liverpool and Cornwall and the Scilly Isles also saw notable rises in job adverts as hiring activity continued to grow across the UK.

At the other end of the scale, three out of the bottom ten local areas for growth in active job postings were in the East of England – Breckland and South Norfolk (-3.6%), North and West Norfolk (-2.4%), and Bedford (-2.2%). The region as a whole saw a slight fall in active job postings last week (-0.1%).

There were mixed fortunes in Greater London. While a number of areas were in the top ten hiring hotspots, including Harrow and Hillingdon (+10.0%) and Bexley and Greenwich (+9.8%), others such as Barnet (-7.9%) and Croydon (-2.3%) found themselves in the bottom ten. This left advert numbers in the capital as a whole relatively unchanged (-0.1%).