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UK job market flourishes in first quarter of 2018

As applications, job vacancies and salaries all see impressive growth

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It’s been a strong start to the year for the UK labour market, with job vacancies, application rates and advertised salaries all seeing an increase last quarter. In fact, job vacancies rose by 11.8% in Q1, when compared with data from Q4 2017. That’s according to the latest job market data from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site.

What’s more, the report, which analysed data from Q1 2018 and compared this with Q4 2017, found that application rates soared by 27% during this period. Some of the nation’s key sectors also witnessed impressive growth last quarter, with many seeing above average hikes in application rates. As such, the top industries for finding candidates right now include:

  • Agriculture – apps up 55.9%
  • IT – apps up 37.7%
  • Recruitment – apps up 33%
  • Construction – apps up 32.9%
  • Accounting – apps up 32.5%
  • Manufacturing – apps up 30.9%
  • Sales – apps up 29.4%
  • Social Care – apps up 28.1%
  • Marketing – apps up 28%
  • Automotive – apps up 28%

Some of the UK’s major cities also saw application rates rising in Q1, with Edinburgh (38.9%), Manchester (35.8%), Aberdeen (34.6%), Birmingham (34%) and Liverpool (30.5%) leading the way.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments on the findings: “It’s great to see that the job market has performed so well in the first quarter, with businesses remaining resilient as we move through 2018. And it’s clear that this confidence is catching on, with candidate appetite picking back up and job hunters remaining active across many of the nation’s key industries. If you’re looking to expand your workforce, now could be the perfect time to ramp up your recruitment efforts.”

Furthermore, advertised salaries saw an increase of 1% quarter-on-quarter. Again, some of the nation’s key industries witnessed above average growth, with pay packets in hospitality (8.6%), catering (7.6%), accounting (2.8%), legal (2.2%) and IT (1.8%) all leading the way.

Despite the report being largely positive, salaries and applications both saw a decline year-on-year when compared with data from Q1 2017, decreasing by 0.5% and 7.4% respectively. That said job vacancies were up by 9.5% year-on-year.

Biggins concludes: “It’s concerning to learn that application rates were down year-on-year, suggesting that candidates aren’t feeling as confident as they were this time a year ago. That said, it’s positive that salaries saw an increase on the last quarter and this could be a big contributing factor towards the rise in application rates when compared with Q4. With candidates feeling more comfortable about making their next career move, businesses across the nation need to continue to offer competitive packages if they hope to keep the momentum going.”

For more information on the UK job market, check out the full report here.