2019 saw more people apply for pharmaceutical jobs than graduate and trainee roles.

This is according to data from Acorn Recruitment, who found that 30 applicants applied per job for a pharmaceutical role. This is compared to 26 applicants for a graduate and trainee role.

Acorn compiled the top 10 list of the most popular job sectors in 2019:

  • Pharmaceutical, 30 applicants per job
  • Graduate and trainee, 26 applicants per job
  • Manufacturing and production, 17 applicants per job
  • Administration and secretarial, 17 applicants per job
  • Utilities, 17 applicants per job
  • Real estate and property, 16 applicants per job
  • Logistics, distribution and support chain, 14 applicants per job
  • Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), 14 applicants per job
  • Social care, 13 applicants per job


Pavan Arora, director of permanent recruitment, at Acorn said:

It has been a very tumultuous year in the world of recruitment, with unemployment at an all-time low, Brexit still looming and economic uncertainty rife, so it’s great to see that our traditional sectors are still doing so well in both jobs available and the number of applicants.

With Brexit looking like it’s now a done deal, hopefully businesses can be more confident with what is to come in 2020 and start the new decade on a positive and optimistic note. Certainly, seeing such a buoyant year for posts within manufacturing and logistics is an encouraging sign. We hope to see more in of the same moving into this new decade.

In order to compile this data, Acorn studied its own data for jobs applied to. Acorn places 6,500 people in to 1,200 different client companies each week and makes 1,700 permanent placements every year.

During this month (December) the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that UK unemployment figures were at its lowest since January 1975 as it came in at 1.281 million. The employment rate rose to 76 per cent, meaning an increase of 24,000 people in work giving a total number of 32.8 million individuals in work.

Interested in graduate recruitment? We recommend the Graduate Recruitment and Development Forum 2020.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.