The jobs market showed early signs of recovery in March after vacancies climbed to their highest levels since the start of 2023 last month, according to the UK Job Market Report by smarter job search engine Adzuna

There were 1.04 million advertised vacancies available across the UK in March, up 2.3 percent month on month, and the highest number of jobs available this year. The uptick comes after almost a year of falling vacancies and represents the biggest monthly growth in advertised vacancies since February 2022. 

Logistics and marketing vacancies increasing monthly 

Of the 22 job sectors Adzuna tracks, almost two-thirds are seeing positive monthly growth in vacancies. PR, advertising and marketing roles were up 9.75 percent month on month with logistics and warehousing jobs up 8 percent. Nursing vacancies and healthcare roles are also increasing (up 3.95%). Analysis by the Nuffield Trust last year found more than 40,000 nurses left the NHS in England, with trusts scrambling to fill vacant roles.  

In comparison, science roles (-6.75%), HR and recruitment (-5.6%), and domestic and cleaning jobs (-4.16%) have seen the biggest monthly falls in vacancies. 

The highest year-on-year increase in job roles was teaching, which has seen roles increase by over a fifth (21%) since the same time last year. The energy sector has also experienced an increase in demand for jobs, up 15 percent since March 2022, with salaries increasing by nearly 3 percent to attract more people to the sector. 

Salaries increasing

Average advertised salaries have been increasing consecutively month on month since October 2022, reaching a high of £37,530 in March. Whilst this was only an increase of 0.49 percent since February 2023, this represents a 3 percent annual growth. This isn’t enough to keep up with inflation, however, which was 10.1 percent on average in March, with figures likely being dragged down by falling vacancies in higher-paying sectors such as accounting and finance (-14.09% YoY) and IT (-37% YoY).  

As well, there has been a drop in the number of job ads that display salaries, down 3.5 percent in March (50.9%) compared to February (52.8%). This also represents a nearly 20 percent fall in jobs with advertised salaries, from last March (63.1%) and marks the lowest levels of salary transparency since Adzuna began collecting data in 2016.

Competition rising 

There are now 1.51 jobseekers on average per vacancy in March, the highest figures have been since October 2021. The last time there were more than two jobseekers per role was back in June 2021. 

Claimant figures up 

The number of claimants rose 3 percent to 1.57 million in March 2023. Overall, claimant figures have fallen around 9 percent since the same time last year, suggesting that fewer people are looking for work.

The best areas to look for work 

Advertised salaries are also increasing across the regions. London is the only region that saw average advertised salaries fall between March 2022 and March 2023, down 3.6%. Northern Ireland had the highest year-on-year average advertised salary increase in the regions, up 10.7 percent, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (9%) and the North East (8.8%). 

Cambridge is the best place to get a job in the UK, with over 9,000 advertised roles and around 0.26 jobseekers per vacancy. Other areas with low competition for jobs include Guildford (0.38), Exeter (0.47) and Reading (0.57). By comparison, the hardest places to apply for roles are all in the North of the country – Bradford, Rochdale and Middlesbrough.  There are almost six people (5.78) per vacancy in Bradford, and 4.3 people in both Rochdale and Middlesbrough.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder at Adzuna, said:

We’re finally starting to see positive signs of growth in the UK employment market as March saw the highest monthly increase in advertised roles since the start of 2022. Healthcare and nursing roles continue to grow as trusts and healthcare organisations hunt for trained staff to fill backlogs in care. Meanwhile warehouse roles are consistently in demand across the UK. Jobseekers will be pleased to see average advertised salaries growing, with London the only city to see a fall in advertised salaries since last year. Yet the increases in salaries, driven by companies trying to fill gaps in their teams, are not going to make workers feel much better off as inflation continues to eat into personal budgets. This is also having an impact on salary transparency which employers under strain to keep a lid on costs and therefore are not outwardly disclosing pay, as March saw the lowest levels of salary transparency since we started collecting data seven years ago.”

Tony Wilson, director at the Institute for Employment Studies, said:

 “This is a very useful and timely report, adding more weight to the view that both labour supply and labour demand may be picking up again. This would be good news overall but may also lead to the risk of more inflationary pressures later in the year. It also reiterates that we need to do more to help those people who want jobs to find the jobs that want people.”

Adzuna’s monthly UK Job Market Report provides the most up-to-date snapshot of employment opportunities across the country, based on every job vacancy advertised online in the UK from over 1,000 sources, across all UK regions. Adzuna also supplies real-time data to the Number 10 Dashboard, the Cabinet Office and the Office for National Statistics labour market indices. More granular data breakdowns at a local authority, job title, or skill level, are also available via Adzuna Intelligence.

 

 

 

 

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 the 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.