Growth in the number of job adverts being posted shows no signs of slowing down in the run-up to Christmas, with 221,000 new vacancies posted in the first week of November – the fourth highest weekly figure since the onset of the pandemic, according to a recruitment body.
There were 2.68 million active job postings between 25 October and 7 November, which the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said was another record high.
The most in-demand roles included driving instructors (job adverts up 32.2%), prison officers (13%), forklift truck drivers (9.1%) and secondary school teachers (9.1%), according to its Jobs Recovery Tracker.
There has been a drop-off in hiring for construction sector roles including painters and decorators (down 17.8%), roofers (-13.4%), plasterers and bricklayers (both -11.3%).
Chief executive Neil Carberry said: “The latest job advert numbers show recruitment activity staying strong in the run-up to Christmas. The general positive trend varies by region and sector, however.
“It’s vital that, as the recovery continues, government put measures in place that will help companies invest with confidence, thereby increasing productivity and helping the economy to grow.
“That includes a revolution in the skills system, especially focused on helping those furthest from the labour market into work. The best way to achieve this is through collaboration between business and government, with joined up planning to meet the economy’s needs and deliver prosperity.”
The UK’s top hiring hotspot was Telford and Wrekin, where job postings increased by 19.4%, closely followed by South Teesside (13.9%).
Growth was weakest in the east of England: Breckland and South Norfolk saw a 3.6% decline in job postings in the first week of November, while North and West Norfolk saw postings fall by 2.4%.
Carberry said growth in hiring in London had been affected more than other areas by the rise of hybrid working, and its jobs market continued to grow at a slower pace than the rest of the UK. Compared with the first week of March 2020, before the pandemic lockdown hit, London has only seen active job postings rise by 32.2%, compared with 185.3% in Wales and 127.3% in Northern Ireland.