In the last week of April, there were 1.81 million job adverts in the UK.
This is according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Labour Market Tracker, which also found that this is up by 7 percent from a week earlier and 15 percent from a month earlier.
However, the number of new job adverts being posted has stabilised at a lower level than the red-hot pace of early 2022.
There were roughly 173,000 new postings in the last week of April, a healthy level of activity by historical standards.
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.
A statistical comparison
“The most interesting feature of the latest job postings figures is the different directions in which new and active postings are trending,” says Vice President, UK Operations at Emsi Burning Glass, John Gray.
Mr Gray highlights that whilst the new postings had fallen from its peak n mid-march of 240,000 to 173,000 in April, this is not the case with active postings.
“[A]ctiven postings (which includes those advertised before the last month) are still trending upwards, with more than 1.8 million postings in these latest figures, which is the second highest number we’ve seen this year,” says Mr Gray.
“This seems to indicate a couple of things. Firstly, the downturn in new postings suggests that employers are being more cautious than they were at the start of the year, which may be a reflection of the renewed economic uncertainty we are currently seeing.”
“Secondly, the fact that the number of active positions continue to grow suggests that they are still keeping positions open, but are finding it hard to fill them, which reflects the very tight labour market we saw emerging in the post-Covid economy in late 2021,” says Mr Gray.
Which occupation is seeing the biggest increase?
Almost every occupational group saw an increase in active job adverts last week.
The biggest weekly growth in adverts was for precision instrument makers and repairers (+15.4%).
The business and accounting sector also saw significant increases in job adverts last week, such as for chartered and certified accountants (+13.9%), collector salespersons and credit agents (+12.4%), and financial managers and directors (+10.5%).
There were only four occupations that saw decreases in active job adverts last week – postal workers and couriers (-5.5%), security occupations (-2.3%), furniture makers and woodworkers (-0.3%), and forestry workers (-0.3%).
What is the future of the job market looking like?
“The data continues to show that employers across the UK are eager to hire new staff into their businesses. The number of new job postings has remained relatively stable for the past few weeks, despite concern about rising inflation,” says Chief Executive of the REC, Neil Carberry.
“But the jobs market remains tight – the rising number of active adverts indicates that some firms are struggling to hire. That makes it a great time to be looking for a new role, but it’s important that employers look closely at all aspects of their offer to candidates and consult with a recruitment expert to make sure they get the quality staff they need,” adds Mr Carberry.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the 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.