Recent data analysis conducted by Wealth of Geeks reveals significant shifts in job vacancies across various industries in the United Kingdom, shedding light on the impact of economic factors and industry-specific challenges.

The findings indicate a nuanced landscape, with some sectors experiencing substantial declines in available positions, while others show more resilience.

Transport and Storage Industry Hit Hardest

Topping the list with a staggering 36.5 percent drop in vacancies, the transport and storage sector faces substantial challenges. In December 2023, there were 30 percent fewer job openings compared to the same period in 2022. Rising fuel costs and stricter border crossings have forced transport companies to cut costs, resulting in a 0.3 percent decrease in businesses since 2021.

Information and Communication Follows Suit

The information and communication industry ranks second, experiencing a 29 percent reduction in job vacancies. Increased competition, fueled by a higher number of graduates entering the field, has led to fewer opportunities. The sector saw a decline of 26,000 businesses in 2023.

Arts and Entertainment, Financial and Insurance, and More

Arts and entertainment take the third spot with a 27.7 percent drop in vacancies, despite a 7,000-business increase in the sector. The financial and insurance industry saw a 26.3 percent decrease, facing challenges with low turnover and a loss of 1,000 businesses annually since 2021.

The accommodation and food industry experienced a 23.9 percent decrease in vacancies, while professional scientific and technical roles were down by 22.9 percent. Both industries face challenges in attracting qualified candidates due to seasonal and part-time nature, combined with decreasing business numbers.

Retail Shows Relative Resilience

In contrast, the retail sector showed more resilience, ranking eighth with an 18.6 percent decrease in vacancies. The industry’s competitiveness, store closures, and higher costs contribute to the decline, leading to a reliance on skeleton crews and part-time staff.

UK Faces Overall Decline in Vacancies

Nationally, the UK witnessed a substantial decline in job vacancies, totaling over 220,000 fewer positions in October-December 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. Factors such as inflation, rising costs, and widespread layoffs have contributed to a challenging job market throughout 2023.

Unemployment Rate Remains Stable but Conceals Challenges

While the UK’s unemployment rate stands at 3.8 percent, mirroring the level of October-December 2022, concerns arise about the inclusion of zero-hour contracts in employment rates. Despite the seemingly low unemployment rate, zero-hour contracts lack consistency in employment.

Insights from Wealth of Geeks

Michael Dinich, spokesperson for Wealth of Geeks, highlighted the importance of understanding industry trends and their impact on job availability. He emphasised the influence of economic conditions, education levels, and supply and demand dynamics in shaping the job market. Rising costs, especially in technology-related fields, have resulted in a complex interplay affecting both employers and job seekers.

The data presented by Wealth of Geeks offers a comprehensive view of the evolving employment landscape, providing insights into the challenges faced by various industries and the overall impact on the UK 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.