Research from the Totaljobs Barometer, which analyses the behaviour of 4.8 million jobseekers and 5,000 recruiters each month, reveals that competition for jobs has risen to 18 applications per job, following a drop earlier in 2012. This is despite an overall increase in the number of jobs available across the country. Nationally, the number of available jobs rose by 5% year-on-year and 4% over the quarter.
Alarmingly, London, which has proved so resilient during the worst of the recession, has seen a dramatic fall in the number of jobs, with 7% fewer compared to the same quarter last year. In particular, London has been particularly hit by a fall in the number of jobs in the financial sector, which has decreased nationally by 9% year-on year. Catering and hospitality, jobs for which are disproportionately based in London, have also been hit, with 11% fewer jobs compared to the third quarter in 2011, indicating that despite the Olympic effect¹, London vacancies have declined, suggesting that the long-term employment benefits of the Games have not been realised.
The Totaljobs Barometer provides one of the most comprehensive representations of supply and demand in the UK job market importantly reporting three months ahead of official ONS statistics for which it stands up as a proven forecast. Today¹s figures show how UK recruitment has fared in the first quarter of 2012.
John Salt, director, totaljobs.com says: "Although today's figures show increases in the number of jobs available, it seems that the prediction of green shoots in the overall labour market earlier this year, might have been all too soon. It¹s worrying to see such a fall in jobs available in London, arguably a barometer for the UK employment market as a whole. Finance has consistently been seen as a stalwart in the capital¹s jobs market and such a drop indicates a difficult winter ahead."
"What's more, it remains an employers¹ market and jobseekers continue to face rising competition for work as the issue of underemployment, where few full-time jobs are being created and the number of people forced into part-time work or self-employment continues to rise, is hiding a level of joblessness that is only just starting to be fully realised."
For the second quarter in a row, London has experienced a fall in the total number of available jobs. Competition for work in the capital has not seen a corresponding fall, however, with the number of applications per job post at 25, up from 22 in the third quarter of 2011. The only other region to see a year-on-year fall in the number of jobs was East Anglia, with a slight drop of 1%.
Salt continues: "In the depths of double dip recession, London had proved one of the few bright regions in the labour market. However, always overly reliant on financial services, London's resilience has been put at risk by sharp cuts by investment banks in particular, as banks begin to realise the potential impact of a less than benign policy outlook and further losses from a Eurozone that remains, stubbornly, in turmoil."
Across the country, the picture was far rosier. The North West and North East saw the starkest rise in vacancies, each by 18% year-on-year. These were followed by the West Midlands and South West, which both clocked rises in job numbers of over 9%. Yorkshire, the West Midland and the East Midlands all saw their highest quarterly job numbers since the Barometer began in 2009
The Totaljobs Barometer also outlines recruiter and jobseeker activity across 33 sectors. Having been hit by government cuts over the previous couple of years, sectors governed by the public purse have seen startling growth. Education, health, and public sector services saw year-on-year rises in the number of available jobs by 69%, 41% and 28% respectively. For education and public services, applications have not yet caught up with the increase in available positions and, as a result, competition for jobs in these sectors has fallen by 25%.
The increase in the number of jobs in retail and logistics companies which posted quarterly increases of 13% and 20% is an indication of the importance of run up to the Christmas period, with Amazon, for instance, recently announcing 10,000 temporary jobs for the festive season.
More analysis and commentary can be found on the totaljobs.com blog