There has been an increase in job adverts for every type of role across the UK with job postings continuing to rise through January and February.
In the last week of February there were around 1.82 million active job adverts in the UK – up by 8.6% from the previous week and by 41.5% from a month earlier, found the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s Labour Market Tracker.
There were around 224,000 new job postings in the last week of February, the highest since early December. All occupation groups across the UK recorded at least a marginal increase in active job postings from the previous week.
Eight out of the UK’s top 10 hiring hotspots were in Northern Ireland last week, led by Newry, Mourne and Down.
The only areas which experienced falls in job adverts were East Dunbartonshire and certain remote corners of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The number of job adverts in the UK has been steadily growing since the beginning of 2022, as the Omicron wave receded and hiring activity ramped up. According to the REC, there were 224,000 new adverts posted in the week of 21-27 February – the highest weekly figure since early December.
Recruitment and retention
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said: the high level of job adverts “reflects the difficulty firms are having in hiring. The UK economy is facing some severe capacity constraints as it recovers, which is contributing to higher inflation”.
He added that to manage this, workforce planning needed to be at the forefront of firms’ thinking. This would also help to boost productivity, a long-time UK weakness. Reforming the apprenticeship levy was key to developing future skills, he said.
Certain aspects of government policy needed a rethink, Carberry urged: “Now is also the wrong time to be increasing National Insurance, our biggest business tax – government should be encouraging business investment and supporting household incomes rather than piling more costs on taxpayers at a time when inflation is already high.”
The REC suggested that the gradual return to offices and other workplaces could also be increasing demand for some roles. Childminders saw an increase in demand of 16.8% from the previous week, while adverts for mobile salespeople with rounds, including those selling food and drink to office workers, increased by 23% week-on-week.
John Gray, vice president, UK operations at Emsi Burning Glass, said although the data suggested strong business confidence, “we know that many employers are still finding it hard to get the talent they need” and that “renewed global uncertainty and the huge rise in energy costs we are experiencing” was likely to dent confidence.
The Labour Market Tracker is produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi Burning Glass, using its Job Postings Analytics data, which is harvested from tens of thousands of job boards. Data was harvested between 14 and 27 February 2022.