Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

New jobs postings fall back to levels last seen in April 2022

The number of active job adverts across the UK has been cooling-off since the end of July.

  • There were 143,000 new job postings last week – similar to levels seen in April 2022
  • There were 1.45 million active job adverts in the UK – lower than any point since the pandemic, but still a high level relative to pre-pandemic 
  • Notable increases in adverts for jobs in the education sector such as school secretaries, crossing patrol occupations, and teachers
  • Three out of the UK’s top ten hiring hotspots were in the West Midlands in the week of 19-25 September
  • Six out of the UK’s bottom ten hiring hotspots were in Northern Ireland.

The number of active job adverts across the UK has been cooling-off since the end of July. In the week of 19-25 September, active job adverts hit a low of 1.45 million, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s and Lightcast latest Labour Market Tracker.

Last week, 143,000 new job adverts were posted, the lowest figure recorded for 2022 – 8.3% lower than a month earlier.

However, there were notable increases in job adverts within the education sector as the new school year starts. Namely, school secretaries (+8.8%), crossing patrol occupations (+7.7%), teaching professionals (+6.4%), and secondary teachers (+4.0%),

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“Weekly jobs postings have returned to levels last seen in April this year. Employer demand is still significant, but a cooling-off is no surprise. With inflation high, and employers concerned about the economic picture, some moderation in hiring from the sugar rush of the past year was predictable.

"That said, we are entering a new phase in our labour market. Workforce shortages make the impact of a slowdown on hiring much more unpredictable. It is far less likely that we will see much higher candidate availability, especially for roles requiring key skills, even if the economy slows.

“For businesses, working with skilled recruiters to adapt their offer to this market is essential. Changes to IR35 rules announced last week will help with bringing more labour on stream – but Government also needs to address the other key elements of making the UK a great place to invest and create jobs. That includes skills reform, and stability in the fiscal and monetary outlook.”

On the other hand, driving instructors (-15.5%) saw the biggest weekly decline in active job adverts, followed by ship and hovercraft officers (-12.0%), and Floorers and wall tilers (-11.3%).

West Midlands saw growth in job postings in the week of 19-25 September, with three of the top ten hiring hotspots in London. However, the local area with the highest increase in job adverts was Southampton (+6.6%), followed by West Cumbria (+6.4%) and Telford and Wrekin (+5.3%).

At the other end of the scale, six out of the bottom ten local areas for growth in active job postings were in Northern Ireland. Of those, Newry, Mourne and Down (-16.2%), Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (-14.1%), and Derry City and Strabane (-13.5%) saw the biggest falls.