Area focus: South West pt. 2 – The state of play

Part 1 of this area focus touched on the healthy state of the South West region in comparison with the rest of the UK, as the South West currently has the least applications per job at 9.6 and the lowest unemployment rate.

On top of this, Totaljobs barometer figures reveal monthly declines in the amount of people aged 16+ claiming jobseekers allowance (JSA) within the region, with the total number of claimants dropping to 82,500 in April from 82,700 in March and 83,200, 84,000 in February and January respectively.

The rate at which people have been signing on for JSA has also declined as April bucked the average 3.2% trend set by quarter 1, dropping to a 3% sign-on rate. Further positive news comes for the youth in the region, as the amount of claimants between the ages of 16-18 also decreased from 9% in February to 2%.

 

Sector movement in the South West

Jobs in the health service have increased dramatically with a 24% month-on-month rise along with Leisure and Hospitality which saw a 13% increase in jobs posted. Graduate jobs have become easier to obtain, as 661 jobs were posted in April 2013 compared with 641 in the same month in 2012 while the amount of applications has decreased by 34% from 4421 to 3292.

Human Resources has also seen the competition for jobs ease between 2012 and 2013, as the former registered 9.8 people applying for each job while April 2013 saw a more tempered 6.4 applications per job. This is the same for the legal sector, which has dropped from 5.2 applications per job in 2012 to just 2 while applications have dropped significantly from 902 to 361.

In fact, many sectors have seen a significant drop in applications while the amount of people applying for ‘other’ jobs and part-time work has risen by 41%. This can be attributed to the amount of jobseekers willing to pursue roles outside of their field or take part-time work just to get themselves into employment. As mentioned in part 1 of this area focus, many people in the South West region are wising up to the reality of the jobs market and adapting to find alternative ways into employment.

Totaljobs regional sales manager Richard Collins agrees with this trend: “I think you will see a lot more part-time roles becoming available as the demand increases. I think people will look at the work as a stop gap in difficult times or at least a way to get into a company.”

Competition in the retail sector has also relented, as applications per job dropped by 44% from 23 to 15.9 while jobs posted in the sector has increased by 10% and applications declined by 30%. Transport & Logistics is another sector that looks in better condition in 2013 than last year, as the amount of jobs posted has risen by 24% causing the applications per job to fall by a massive 72%.

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