January jobs rush? 20% increase in jobs advertised as Britain returns to work

  • A record 54,000 jobs were advertised on totaljobs in the first week of 2018. 20% more than the same week last year.
  • Education (+61%), Travel, Leisure & Tourism (+53%) and Customer Services (+42%) were among the fastest growing sectors
  • Skills shortages, improving productivity and the gender pay gap all to influence the employment landscape in 2018

Britain’s job market continued to thrive in the first week of 2018, figures released by totaljobs have revealed. A record 54,000 jobs were advertised on totaljobs between 1st and the 7th January 2018, 9,000 (20%) more than in the same period last year.

The data reveals that Travel, Leisure & Tourism (+53%) and Customer Services (+42%) were among the fastest moving sectors, while 1,000 extra engineering roles were advertised on totaljobs. While in spite of Brexit uncertainty, the UK saw a 10% increase in the number of jobs advertised in Banking and Finance.

Looking across the UK, the picture was positive with all regions showing annual growth in terms of the number of available jobs in the first week of 2018. The North West and London were among the strongest, with 27% and 38% more roles advertised year-on-year respectively.

Key industries in London were in-line with the UK-wide trends, including growth in education (+112%) and travel and tourism (61%), while the outlook looks positive for the banking (24%) and legal (25%) professions. In the North West, jobs growth in telecommunications was as high as 64% with an increase of 21% in banking and 12% in technology looking optimistic for the region.

2018 employment trends

As employers display confidence by advertising more jobs in all corners of the UK, totaljobs expects three trends to continue to dominate the wider employment landscape in 2018.

Improving productivity in the workplace

ONS data indicates that UK productivity levels are amongst the lowest in the G7, with the GDP output of the UK economy currently sitting 20% lower than pre-recession trends forecasted it would.

Both employers and employees need to assess the causes of poor productivity and find ways of improving their individual performance.

As a major focus of the UK’s recent industrial strategy whitepaper, the government expects that companies will look to artificial intelligence as a potential fix for productivity problems. The outcome of this, though beneficial to productivity, could impact employment, with totaljobs research showing that 1 in 5 UK workers are worried that their job will be replaced.

Closing the skills gap

The outcome of ongoing Brexit negotiations will continue to shape the nature of the British workforce. Businesses have already warned that potential changes to the free movement of labour could widen an already growing skills gap. The construction industry is particularly concerned about the implications on the sector as it is heavily reliant on EU nationals.

Budding trends, designed to resolve the issue, include the gig economy, with totaljobs research signalling that two in three employers expect the importance of contract and freelance workers to continue to grow in 2018 as they struggle to plug the skills gap.

A more equal and diverse workforce

With all companies over 250 employees needing to report their gender pay gap by 4th April 2018, we anticipate employees will demand more of their employers in redressing gender inequality this year.

A totaljobs report in 2016 revealed that a quarter of women believe that men are paid more for carrying out the same job.

Once companies have confronted their issues, they will need to go about fixing them to regain their teams’ trust and avoid widespread resignations as female employees look for equally paying roles.

Businesses should begin to think about how they will close their pay gap and clearly explain these steps to staff so that it does not affect employee engagement.

We also expect further questions on pay equality to be asked by an aging workforce, ethnic minorities and LGBT+ staff.


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