In a recent study conducted by Wealth of Geeks, the UK job market has witnessed a substantial decline in open vacancies across various industries, with transport and storage taking the lead with a staggering 36.5 percent drop in job opportunities between December 2022 and December 2023.

The findings shed light on the challenges faced by different sectors and provide insight into the broader economic landscape.

The transport and storage industry emerged as the most affected, experiencing a sharp decline of 36.5 percent in open vacancies from December 2022 to December 2023.

Rising fuel costs and stricter border controls have forced companies in this sector to cut costs, resulting in a 0.3 percent decrease in businesses since 2021, equivalent to 9,000 fewer establishments.

Information and Communication, Arts, and Entertainment Follow Suit

Industries demanding higher education levels, such as information and communication (29% decrease) and arts and entertainment (27.7% decrease), faced significant drops in open positions. Increased competition among graduates in these fields contributed to the decline, with the number of businesses in information and communication dropping by 26,000 in 2023.

Financial and Insurance, Accommodation and Food Industries Suffer

The financial and insurance industry experienced a 26.3 percent reduction in job vacancies, attributed to the need for specialized degrees and a low turnover rate. Meanwhile, the accommodation and food sector saw a decrease of 23.9 percent, with most positions being seasonal or part-time due to tight profit margins impacted by food prices and transport costs.

Real Estate and Retail Weather the Storm

Real estate and retail, although facing declines of 19.4 percent and 18.6 percent in open vacancies, respectively, have shown resilience. Despite a 114,000 increase in registered businesses in the real estate industry in 2023, the fall in job opportunities remains notable. In the competitive retail sector, store closures and higher costs have led to reduced hiring, leaving many establishments with skeleton crews.

Health and Social Work, Construction Round Out the List

Human health and social work witnessed a 17.6 percent decrease in vacancies, while the construction industry saw a fall of 17.4 percent. These sectors, while experiencing declines, have managed to maintain a relatively lower drop in open positions compared to other industries.

Insight from Wealth of Geeks

Michael Dinich, spokesperson for Wealth of Geeks, provided perspective on the findings, emphasising the impact of education levels, specialisation, and supply and demand in the job market. He highlighted the challenges companies face with rising costs, creating a ripple effect that affects both employment opportunities and public purchasing power.

As the UK grapples with the aftermath of global economic challenges, these insights provide a comprehensive view of the evolving job landscape and the sectors most affected by recent 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.