It’s a Great Christmas if You are Looking for a Job!

Looking back at March 2020 when the Covid pandemic struck and the country went into lockdown, it is hard to believe that we are still battling the virus. But our resilience as a nation and our ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ attitude has paid dividends. Here we are at the end of the year and despite the pandemic still waging its war on the world, both our economy and our jobs market has bounced back with incredible defiance and the outlook for the future remains positive.

Placements rise sharply across the board

Whilst Omicron is our future, the jobs market throughout November and leading into December is not showing signs of weakening against the variant, and permanent placements have risen at an even sharper rate than the previous month. Sharp and accelerated rises in permanent placements were seen across all four monitored English regions in November with the Midlands and London posting the joint-strongest increases.

Temporary Billings also saw a sustained upturn across the UK during November. The rate of growth was little changed from those seen in the prior two months, and sharp. Short-term billings are thought to have increased as clients seek to boost capacity amid rising business activity, and the difficulties recruiting permanent workers has also supported this upturn.

Vacancies are still growing

Total vacancies rose for the tenth month in a row during November. Though sharp and well above average numbers, the rate of expansion was the slowest seen for six months. Growth of demand for both permanent and short term staff remained robust in November with growth in demand remaining considerably stronger for private sector workers than public sector staff.

The ONS reports that the overall number of vacancies increased from 1,108,000 to 1,172,000 in the latest three-month period, signalling the highest level of vacancies since the series began. This represented an +117.8% increase in roles compared to a year ago and was +45% higher than the pre-pandemic level of 811,00 in the three months to February 2020.

Who’s Hiring?

IT & Computing posted the steepest increase in demand for permanent staff during November, followed closely by Hotel & Catering. Accounting/Financial and Executive/Professional roles remain in the middle of the sectors and are still experiencing strong demand. Unsurprisingly, Hotel & Catering and Nursing/Medical/Care staff are still the highest in demand when looking at short-term vacancies.

Are Candidates Still Driving the Jobs Market?

Yes, but to a slightly lesser extent. November saw a slower fall in overall labour supply with the rate of deterioration softening for the third month running but remaining rapid overall and much quicker than average. That said, this is still very much a candidate led jobs market and if you are thinking about changing jobs, now is the time to do it.

What has Changed with Starting Salaries?

Despite a slower fall in labour supply, companies are still increasing salaries awarded to new permanent joiners in a bid to attract the best talent. Starting salaries have now increased in each month since March and according to the ONS, employee salaries rose +5.8% on an annual basis in the three months to September.

Despite the growing concern around the rising cost of living, continued labour shortages and the increasing spread of COVID-19, the latest data from the ONS continues to display the resilience of the labour market. Employers remain optimistic when it comes to their hiring intentions and the latest REC JobsOutlook survey indicates that a higher proportion of businesses are still intending to hire new staff in the coming months, rather than make redundancies.

If you have been thinking about changing your job, now is most certainly the time to do it. If you would like help or advice with your job search or want to see the roles that Amdas is currently recruiting for, head over to our website.