- There were 189,888 new job postings in the week of 7-13 August 2023. The annual August slowdown has been less severe this year than in 2022, with 28.8% more new jobs on the market than last year (8-14 August 2022).
- No region saw a decline in job adverts in the week of 7-13 August 2023 as compared to the previous week (31 July-6 August 2023).
- The number of active postings in the week of 7-13 August 2023 was more than 2.3 million – significantly higher than the year before as many roles continue to take longer to fill (8-14 August 2022).
- Number of monthly job postings in Scotland significantly down in 2022-2023 – bucking the trend in other UK nations.
The number of new job adverts this August has remained at a robust level each week, suggesting greater confidence among hiring companies than last summer, finds the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and Lightcast’s latest Labour Market Tracker.
There were 189,888 new job postings in the week of 7-13 August 2023 – 3.5% higher than the week before (31 July-6 August 2023) and 28.8% higher than the year before (8-14 August 2022). The figure has remained stable around and above 1.4 million since February 2022. New job postings have remained stable above 140,000 since January 2022.
Last August was the onset of a slowdown in hiring that coincided with peak inflation and rises in cost of capital for firms. Over the past few months, the REC’s JobsOutlook survey has suggested firms were gaining confidence in their hiring plans, and this new data seems to suggest that firms are more active this summer than last.
The number of active postings in the week of 7-13 August 2023 was 2,303,479 – a 7.2% increase compared to the previous week (31 July- 6 August 2023) but 60% higher than the year before (8-14 August 2022) when there were 1,439,819 active job adverts. At this time last year, the recruitment market slowed, and active job postings went down until September, but today’s figures show persistent demand matched by adverts staying active for longer as some roles remain difficult to fill.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:
“Over the course of the last year, we have seen hiring slow gently in many sectors, while labour shortages persist in others. Businesses have been more cautious about hiring in light of high inflation and cost of capital, as well as wider economic concerns. Client feedback for the past couple of months has been more positive, however, and we can see this reflected in today’s job advert numbers. Firms are ready to recruit for the future and more confident in their plan – a stark contrast with the more cautious and concerned view of August 2022.
“The high level of live job adverts remains a signal of hiring difficulties firms are experiencing in some markets, due to a range of factors including skills shortages, job design and access to candidates. It emphasises again the need for firms to get their approach to the market right, working with professional recruiters. While growth has been slow, labour supply is still constricted, and candidates have choices.
“We remain concerned by the need to drive growth in our economy – this is the only answer to delivering prosperity for workers and funding public services well. Across skills, immigration, welfare, infrastructure and taxation, a strong industrial strategy is needed to make sure that we can deliver the best from the UK’s brilliant but not limitless labour force.”
Across the UK, occupations with notable increases in job adverts in the week of 7-13 August 2023 compared to the previous week (31 July -6 August 2023) include police officers (sergeant and below) (+15.4%), advertising accounts managers and creative directors (+15.1%), and legal professionals (+13.9%). plasterers (+12.8%), TV, video and audio engineers (+12.3%), and groundsmen and greenkeepers (+11.7%) roles also saw high growth.
Driving instructors (-3.0%), floorers and wall tilers (-1.3%), print finishing and binding workers (-0.3%), leisure and travel service occupations (+0.1%), and market research interviewers (+1.8%) saw the lowest growth in job adverts.
Across the UK, Sheffield (+12.1), Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan (+10.8), City of Edinburgh (+10.6), East Dunbartonshire (+10.4%), and Glasgow City (+10.3%) saw notable increases in job adverts. No region saw a decline in job adverts in the week of 7-13 August 2023 as compared to the previous week (31 July -6 August 2023).
Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham (+3.4), Bexley and Greenwich (+3.6), Gwynedd (+3.7), Westminster (+3.8%), and East Lothian and Midlothian (+3.8%) accounted for the lowest growth in job adverts.
By comparison with other UK nations, there has been a more significant decline in jobs posting in Scotland comparing 2022-23 with 2021-22. This appears to be broad-based across the private sector with no clear trend, other than some areas of the country (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire; Perth, Kinross and Stirling) being more positive than some others.