The latest data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has revealed a promising uptick in job advertisements across the UK, suggesting a burgeoning resilience in the labour market amid economic uncertainties.

In March 2024, the number of active job postings surpassed 1.9 million, marking an increase from the previous month and indicating a gradual rise in hiring activity since the winter months.

This surge in job ads, considered a leading indicator for the labour market, has fuelled more optimistic economic forecasts for the coming summer.

A notable aspect of this growth is the 4.2 percent increase in new job postings compared to February 2024, totalling 848,004 fresh opportunities. Regions such as Na h-Eileanan Siar, Causeway Coast and Glens, and West Dunbartonshire in Scotland witnessed some of the highest spikes in job postings, signalling a rebound in demand for workers in the region.

Job posting levels remain low

Despite this positive momentum, overall posting levels remain below those of the previous year. However, the REC remains optimistic, citing the job market’s responsiveness to positive signals of growth this spring.

REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry emphasised the significance of this rise in job adverts as a precursor to potential growth in hiring. He noted that while it may take time for this surge to translate into higher placement levels, businesses are beginning to gear up for expansion, a trend reflected in the increased demand for labour.

Carberry urged political parties to prioritise policies that foster long-term growth and address key concerns of businesses, particularly regarding skills, infrastructure, and regulation. He highlighted the potential for significant economic growth if government and businesses collaborate effectively on workforce development initiatives.

Which jobs are seeing the biggest increases?

Occupations experiencing notable increases in job advertisements include Collector Salespersons and Credit Agents, Air Transport Operatives, and Mining and Quarry Workers. Conversely, roles such as Childminders, Quality Control and Planning Engineers, and Prison Service Officers saw declines in postings.

Regional variations in job postings were also observed, with Scottish and Northern Irish counties dominating the top ten regions with the highest growth percentages. Despite challenges faced by some regions like Luton, Wakefield, and Barnsley, overall growth in Scotland outpaced other government regions, showcasing a promising outlook for the nation’s labour market.

As businesses cautiously navigate post-pandemic recovery, the resurgence in job advertisements offers a glimmer of hope for job seekers and underscores the resilience of the UK labour market in the face of ongoing economic shifts.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.