UK Now Has ‘Record 3.5 Million Jobs’ Ahead of Christmas Demand Peak | Economic news
The number of job vacancies in the UK hit a new high of 3.5 million ahead of the Christmas peak according to a closely watched report – double the number seen in the summer.
The Confederation of Recruitment and Employment (REC) said there had been a particular increase in demand last week for prison officers, scaffolders, dentists and veterinarians, as the labor shortage work in the UK shows no signs of slowing down.
While the latest official data shows a level of 1.3 million vacant positions in October, the REC said the number of active vacancies rose to nearly 1.7 million in the summer.
He reported that with around 210,000 new jobs posted in the last week alone, there were currently 3.51 million jobs advertised.
Here is a list of six occupations where, according to REC job posting data, workers were in most demand last week:
• Nurses – 155,520
• Programmers and Software Development Professionals – 124,346
• Nursing assistants and home helpers – 100,916
• Primary and nursery education professionals – 68,824
• Sales and Retail Assistants – 64,883
• Chefs – 59,743
The labor shortage has been blamed on a number of factors, with recruitment hampered by a combination of COVID pandemic-related deficits and post-Brexit limits covering immigration.
They have led to well-documented shortages of people in key roles such as butchering – threatening Christmas turkey production, for example.
The shortage of truck drivers has been a major force behind the disruption in the supply chain.
Another reason why many sectors have struggled to hire is that UK employment has held up well thanks to the leave scheme, with the unemployment rate only at 4.3%.
The lack of manpower has contributed to a surge in wage demands.
REC Managing Director Neil Carberry said: “Job posting growth shows no signs of slowing down as we reach Christmas peak.
“We’ll have to wait and see how this week’s news on the Omicron variant affects the market, with the hospitality industry most likely to suffer the brunt of any downturn in consumer confidence. “
He added: “It really is a candidate market now. Companies need to think about how they will attract staff who face tougher competition than ever before.”