Labour Market Tracker: No clear slowdown in job advert numbers

  • There were 216,257 new job postings in the week of 14-20 November – 40.6% higher comparing to a month earlier (17-23 October, which may have been affected by school half-terms) and only 0.4% lower than the week of 10-16 October
  • The number of active postings has remained stable, with between 1.39 to 1.5 million active job adverts since mid-August
  • Notable increases in adverts for jobs in domestic services, and the energy and retail sectors, including cleaners, energy plant operatives, and shopkeepers
  • Three out of the UK’s top ten hiring hotspots in the week of 14-20 November were in the Northeast
  • Four out of the UK’s bottom ten hiring hotspots were in Scotland.

The number of active job adverts across the UK has remained stable since mid-August. In the week of 14-20 November, there were over 1.4 million active job adverts, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and Lightcast’s latest Labour Market Tracker.

Vacancy levels remained high, suggesting that demand isn’t slowing.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“While the data fluctuates from week to week, new jobs postings have averaged about the same level through the year, suggesting a pattern of strong and stable demand. Despite a wider narrative of concern about the economy, this reflects feedback from recruiters across the country who are saying that shortages mean demand is remaining high even as growth diminishes. It is worth noting that some of the strength in today’s figures is seasonal, however, with demand up in retail ahead of Christmas, and energy ahead of the winter.

“Last month’s Autumn Statement was a missed opportunity to help tackle skills shortages by reforming the Apprenticeship Levy. Making funding more flexible so businesses can use it for high quality shorter training courses and non-apprenticeship schemes would be a win-win for industry, workers and government. Businesses are also crying out for immigration that allows them to fill roles and fuel the economic growth we all want – addressing our labour shortage. Something has got to give – governments must make longer term skills and workforce planning a priority. Recruiters stand ready to play their part in that.”


Occupations with notable increases in job adverts include Energy Plant Operatives (+38.1%), Shopkeepers and Proprietors – Wholesale and Retail (+18.8%), and Cleaners and Domestics (+14.3%).

On the other hand, Pre-press Technicians (-8.3%) saw the biggest weekly decline in active job adverts. Market Research Interviewers (-5.5%) and Postal Workers (-5.3%) also saw a significant decline in active postings.

The North East saw growth in job postings in the week of 14-20 November – Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees (+16.2%), Darlington (+14.5%), and South Teesside (+14.3%).

At the other end of the scale, four out of the bottom ten local areas for growth in active job postings were in Scotland. Of those, East Dunbartonshire (-7.2%), Argyll and Bute (-2.6%), and Highland (-0.7%) saw the biggest falls.