In a recent analysis conducted by Wealth of Geeks, utilising data from the Office of National Statistics, it has been revealed that several industries in the United Kingdom witnessed a substantial decrease in job vacancies from October to December 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Topping the list is the Transport and Storage industry, which suffered the most significant blow with a staggering 36.5 percent drop in job vacancies.

This decline is attributed to rising fuel costs and stricter border regulations, compelling companies in this sector to implement cost-cutting measures. Since 2021, the industry has seen a 0.3 percent decrease in businesses, translating to 9,000 fewer establishments.

Information and Communication: A 29% Reduction

Following closely is the Information and Communication sector, experiencing a 29 percent decrease in job vacancies. Despite an increase of 7,000 businesses, higher education and a competitive market have intensified the competition for roles, leading to a decline in opportunities. In 2023, 26,000 businesses in this field vanished.

Arts and Entertainment: Vacancies Down by 27.7%

The Arts and Entertainment industry ranks third with a 27.7 percent drop in job vacancies. Fierce competition, coupled with a prevalence of part-time or seasonal positions, contributes to the challenges faced by job seekers. Despite a net gain of 7,000 businesses, the demand for positions remains highly competitive.

Financial and Insurance: A 26.3% Decrease

Securing the fourth spot, the Financial and Insurance sector saw a reduction of 26.3 percent in job vacancies. Requiring specialised degrees and facing a steady decline of 1,000 businesses annually since 2021, this industry is characterised by low turnover and scarce job opportunities.

Accommodation and Food: A 23.9% Downturn

The Accommodation and Food industry experienced a 23.9 percent decrease in job vacancies, despite an increase of 8,000 registered businesses in 2023. Similar to Arts and Entertainment, most positions in this sector are seasonal or part-time due to tight profit margins affected by external factors such as food prices and transportation costs.

Professional Scientific and Technical: A 22.9% Drop

In sixth place, the Professional Scientific and Technical sector witnessed a 22.9 percent reduction in job vacancies. With a loss of 38,000 businesses since 2021 and a demand for higher education, turnover in the remaining positions is notably low.

Real Estate: A 19.4% Decline

Real Estate secured the seventh position with a 19.4 percent decrease in job vacancies. Despite a yearly increase in registered businesses since 2021, the industry faces challenges in job availability.

Retail: An 18.6% Decrease

The Retail industry takes the eighth spot, experiencing an 18.6 percent reduction in job vacancies. Fierce competition, store closures, and higher costs contribute to the decrease, forcing many stores to operate with skeleton crews.

Human Health and Social Work, and Construction: A 17.6% and 17.4% Decrease, Respectively

Rounding out the list are Human Health and Social Work, experiencing a 17.6 percent drop, and Construction, with a 17.4 percent decrease in job vacancies.

Despite the UK’s unemployment rate standing at 3.8 percent by the end of the last quarter, Wealth of Geeks emphasises the impact of zero-hour contracts, which are counted among employment rates but do not offer consistent employment.

Michael Dinich, spokesperson for Wealth of Geeks, commented on the findings, highlighting the crucial interplay of economic factors and education levels affecting job availability. He noted that rising costs contribute to a domino effect, limiting companies’ ability to hire, ultimately affecting the overall job market.





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.