The number of new job adverts shot up in the week to 23rd April as businesses returned to hiring after the Easter break.

There were 189,832 new job postings in the week of 17-23 April 2023 – 31.8 percent higher compared to the week before (10-16 April), according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and Lightcast’s latest Labour Market Tracker.

The number of active postings in the week of 17-23 April was 1,696,319 – a 4 percent increase compared to 1,630,552 in the previous week (10-16 April 2023) and 19.5 percent increase compared to 1,419,641 in the previous year (18-24 April 2022).

The figure had remained stable and above 1.4 million since January 2022.

Which sectors are seeing the biggest changes?

Occupations with notable increases in job adverts in the week of 17-23 April compared to the previous week (10-16 April) include collector salespersons and credit card agent (+18.4%), dental practitioner (+13.2%), glaziers (who install different glass products), window fabricators and fitters (+12.6%). Adverts for mobile machine drivers and operatives (+12.4%) authors, writers and translators (+11.1%), and telephonists (+10.3%) roles also saw high growth.

There were big weekly declines in job adverts for floorers and wall tilers (-11.6%), driving instructors (-4.5%), prison service officers (below principal officer) (-4.1%), solicitors (-2.0%), and IT engineers (-1.8%).

Six out of the UK’s top ten hiring hotspots in the week of 17-23 April were in Northern Ireland. Causeway Coast and Glens (+16.1%), Fermanagh and Omagh (+12.2%), Derry City and Strabane (+11.8%), Antrim and Newtownabbey (+10.4%), Newry, Mourne and Down (+10%), Lisburn and Castlereagh (+9.7%) all saw notable increases in job adverts. In recent months there has been growing need for secondary school teachers, programmers and software development professionals, solicitors, cleaners and domestic workers in Northern Ireland.

Separately, Bexley and Greenwich (+0%) saw no growth in job adverts, while Camden and City of London (+0.3%), Solihull (+1.1%), Westminster (+1.3%), and Cambridgeshire CC (+1.2%) accounted for the lowest growth in job adverts.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“Smoothing out week-to-week volatility driven by bank and school holidays, we can see that there is a relatively stable pattern of demand in the labour market, with 180,000 to 200,000 new vacancies every week and more than 1.4 million active job adverts.”

“What we are beginning to see, however, is greater variation in demand. Our members report that vacancies have weakened somewhat in the big sectors which have been strong since onset of the pandemic – logistics, driving and food – while the market remains healthier elsewhere. Likewise, the growth in adverts for collector salespersons and credit card agents shows the effects of the cost-of-living squeeze, as consumers switch behaviour towards lower-cost shopping and spread out payments more. This changing picture makes ensuring workers can find their way to sectors where demand is high all the more important. Unless business and government act on this it may cost the UK economy up to £39 billion per year from 2024 – the equivalent of two Elizabeth Lines.”

 Commenting on teacher shortages, Neil Carberry added:

 “Schools are increasingly struggling to recruit this year with more than 46,500 job adverts. This is after the double-digit percentage rise in education vacancies we reported last month. This happens when employers fail to address pay and people’s experience at work. Teachers face a double whammy because their pay has stagnated, but they are also losing classroom help, such as teaching assistants and new technology, because of a squeeze on school budgets.”

 

 

 

 

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.