REC Labour Market Tracker: Number of job adverts reaches new high for 2022 as labour shortages continue to bite

Reposted from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation

  • In the week of 6-12 June, there were 1.69 million job adverts in the UK, a record high for 2022
  • This is despite the number of new job postings falling to 160,000 in the week following the Jubilee bank holiday weekend
  • Almost all occupation areas recorded at least marginal increases in job adverts compared to the previous week
  • Notable increases in adverts for jobs in the construction sector such as tool makers, carpenters, and construction supervisors
  • Three out of the UK’s top ten hiring hotspots were in the West Midlands last week
  • Meanwhile, seven of the bottom ten local areas for growth in job adverts were in Wales

Last week the number of active job adverts across the UK hit a record high for 2022, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Labour Market Tracker. There were around 1.69 million active job adverts in the week of 6-12 June. This was 6% more than the previous week and 5% up from a month earlier.

However, the number of new job adverts being posted dropped significantly last week, with roughly 160,000 new adverts posted. This is likely to be a hangover from the long Jubilee weekend – by comparison, there were over 200,000 new job postings in each of the previous two weeks.

The rising number of active postings overall likely reflects job adverts being left open for longer, with employers across the country struggling to attract candidates for their vacancies.

The jobs market is seeing very high demand in almost every local area and for almost every type of role. So it’s a great time to be looking for a new start. But the current glut of adverts also reflects the challenge firms are facing. Labour shortages are constraining many firms’ ability to hire and grow. That’s why the role of great recruiters is so important to helping businesses – you can hire with the right approach.

Our national challenge is that there are over half a million fewer people in the labour force than before the pandemic – solving this participation problem will be essential to get the UK economy growing again. Government and business must work together to support those not currently working to find a way back to the labour market, reform the skills system to equip people for the future and ensure the new immigration system does meet the needs of our economy.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC

Almost every occupational group saw an increase in active job adverts last week. The biggest weekly growth in adverts was for probation officers (+33.1%). The construction sector saw significant increases in job adverts last week, such as for tool makers and tool fitters (+14.1%), carpenters and joiners (+10.8%), construction and building trades supervisors (+10.1%), and plasterers (+9.9%).

There were only three occupations that saw decreases in active job adverts last week – actors, entertainers and presenters (-7.0%), leisure and travel service occupations (-1.2%), and roundspersons and van salespersons (-0.6%).

On a local level, the UK’s hiring hotspot last week was Medway, with an 18.2% rise in job adverts from the previous week. Three of the top ten hiring hotspots last week were in the West Midlands, the most notable being Dudley (+12.0%), followed by Sandwell (+10.9%) and Shropshire (+9.7%).

At the other end of the scale, seven out of the bottom ten local areas for growth in active job postings were in Wales. Of those, Anglesey (-5.4%), Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot (-1.1%), and Powys (-0.7%) saw the biggest falls.

Although the number of new job postings fell this week by about 50,000 (from around 210,000 to 160,000), this may well be connected with the long Jubilee weekend, rather than an indication of a slowdown in hiring activity. However, what we’re continuing to see is an increase in the overall number of active postings – a trend that has been apparent throughout the year, and which indicates that employers are still having difficulty finding the talent they need within a very tight labour market.

In the short term, employers are going to have to become much more intentional in how they attract talent, including reviewing the salaries they are offering and communicating their benefits more clearly. In the longer term, attention will need to be given to ensuring that the right talent is available to fill labour market demand, which will mean developing more innovative and data-driven ways of understanding skills demand.

John Gray, Vice President, UK Operations at Emsi Burning Glass


Notes to editors:

  1. The Labour Market Trackeris produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi Burning Glass, using their Job Postings Analytics data which is harvested from tens of thousands of job boards. Data was harvested between 30 May and 12 June 2022. For more details, see the attached annexes which, in league table format, detail the top and bottom ten county/unitary authorities for growth in job postingsand growth by occupation type.
  2.  ‘Active’ job postings are those which were live online during the specified time period. ‘New’ job postings are those which were added to the active stock during the specified time period.

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