Job vacancies in the UK continue to escalate with over 2 million active adverts online between the 4th and 10th October.

There were 2.29 million active job adverts posted in the week of 4-10 October, according to the latest Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) report.

This is a growth of over half a million job vacancies (600,000) from the end of August, suggesting intention to hire continues to swell.

This, the report argues, is set to make the war for talent much more fierce in the coming weeks as the Christmas period will see many sectors ramping up their activity.

Growth was recorded in almost every local area in the UK but Wales saw the largest increase in active job postings last week, with the most notable hotspot for vacancies being Swansea (+15.9 per cent).

This growth in job adverts was similarly seen across almost all occupations with the largest increase in active job adverts for sports and leisure assistants (+15.3 per cent), cleaning and housekeeping managers and supervisors (+14.8 per cent), as well as library clerks and assistants (+12.3 per cent).

Sales and retail assistants similarly saw more demand (+11.9 per cent) as many companies prepare for the Christmas period up ahead.

Despite this, there were a handful of occupations which did not fare as well – specifically, hairdressers and barbers (-3.2 per cent), plasterers (-1.0 per cent) bricklayers and masons (-0.6 per cent), and roofers, roof tilers and slaters (-0.1 per cent) – which all saw a marginal decline in job postings.

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

Growth in employer demand over in recent weeks has not only been extremely strong, it has also been comprehensive in terms of geographies and sectors.

The fact that the number of online job postings grew in all but three local authorities in the last week, and across the majority of occupations, is testament to just how strongly demand for workers has picked up right across the country since the steep decline at the start of the year.

However, although demand is strong, numerous stories in the media and from employer groups suggest that many employers are really struggling to hire at the moment.

This will pose interesting questions for them as to how they attract the workforce they need, including looking at the wages they are offering and including a more compelling benefits package.

This was echoed by Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, who added:

It’s a good time to be looking for work right now – but this bounce-back phase will pass.

To truly level up, it’s time for government to work with businesses on skills, including at lower skills levels, capital investment and workforce planning to make sure we have a soft landing after this boom. And all of this needs to be as relevant for temporary workers – the flexible backbone of our economy – as for those staff in permanent roles.


*This research was outlined in the REC’s Jobs Recovery Tracker which is produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi, using their Job Postings Analytics data which is harvested from tens of thousands of job boards. Data was harvested between 27 September and 10 October 2021.