UK needs over TWO MILLION workers: Active job posts hit a record high

UK needs over TWO MILLION workers: Active job posts hit a record high as bosses cry out for 45,303 retail staff, 44,540 chefs and 101,948 nurses amid ‘abject labour shortage’

  • Data from October 4 to 10 shows around 235,000 new job adverts were posted
  • Number of job postings increased by over 600,000 (36%) since end of August
  • It also shows 7,490 job adverts were posted for HGV drivers over the last week
  • Recruitment difficulties are expected to hamper UK’s recovery from pandemic

Which industries are looking for new staff?

These are the number of new job adverts posted in the UK from October 4 to 10, according to data analysed by Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

Sales and retail assistants: 45,303

Chefs: 44,540

Care workers and home carers63,136

Programmers and software development professionals: 87,873 

Primary and nursery education teaching professionals: 37,742 

HGV drivers: 7,490 

Nurses: 101,948 

Waiters and waitresses: 4,966 

Bar staff: 7,824 

Roofers, roof tilers and slaters: 6,599

Health and safety officers: 7,783 

*In total there are 2.29million active job adverts. 

UK job advert numbers have reached a record high, with over two million positions currently being offered, newly released figures have revealed.

Job market data from October 4 to 10 shows around 235,000 new job adverts were posted, bringing the total number of active postings to 2.29million.

The number of job adverts has spiked over the past six weeks, increasing by over 600,000 (36 per cent) since the end of August.

According to the figures, there were 45,303 new adverts for sales and retail assistants, 44,540 for chefs and 101,948 nurses in the last week.

The demand for retail staff comes in the run-up to Christmas, with shoppers rushing to stock up on goods amid Britain’s supply chain crisis.

Supermarkets have started putting on their Christmas sales early to avoid shelves being empty in December, with promotions of up to 50 per cent off triggered early to avoid a last-minute rush.

Families were warned to start shopping now amid fears supplies of toys, electrical goods and other products will be disrupted by logjams at UK ports. 

But the analysis from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) also shows that 7,490 job adverts have been posted for HGV drivers in the UK over the last week – an increase of 3.3 per cent since October 3.

The flurry of job adverts comes amid a shortage of lorry drivers across the UK, with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) having estimated the UK to be short of 100,000 HGV drivers. 

The RHA also said on Thursday that a threatened strike by workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will put Christmas at risk, while it emerged only 20 foreign drivers had currently been given visas.

Meanwhile, industry leaders have warned the labour market is flooded with a ‘complete misalignment’ between employees and professions which is driving up vacancies. 

Recruitment difficulties are expected to hamper the UK’s recovery from the pandemic despite record numbers on company payrolls. 

UK job advert numbers have reached a record high with over two million positions currently being offered, including 45,303 postings for retail staff, 44,540 for chefs and 101,948 for nurses, newly released figures have revealed

Job market data from October 4 to 10 shows around 235,000 new job adverts were posted, bringing the total number of active postings to 2.29million

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said: ‘The past month has seen a remarkable spike in job adverts, with 235,000 new ads posted last week. 

‘Businesses from almost every sector and local area are hiring right now, and with so much competition for staff, many businesses are having to offer increased salaries and benefits to attract the people they need.

‘It’s a good time to be looking for work right now – but this bounce-back phase will pass. 

‘As the sugar rush fades, future opportunities will be defined by the strength of our underlying economy – notably the extent to which there are capacity constraints on growth, and what progress firms can make on productivity.’

He added: ‘To truly level up, it’s time for government to work with businesses on skills, including at lower skills levels, capital investment and workforce planning to make sure we have a soft landing after this boom. 

‘And all of this needs to be as relevant for temporary workers – the flexible backbone of our economy – as for those staff in permanent roles.’

Wales saw the largest increase in active job postings last week, with four out of the top ten hiring hotspots being in the country.

While nearly every area in the UK recorded growth in active job postings, only three saw a decline – namely Thurrock (-3.8 per cent), the Shetland Islands (-3.8 per cent) and na h-Eileanan Siar (-0.2 per cent).

According to the figures, there were 45,303 new adverts for sales and retail assistants. Pictured: a worker prices jigsaws at Hamleys as the store prepares for the Christmas rush

The demand for retail staff comes in the run-up to Christmas, with shoppers rushing to stock up on goods amid Britain’s supply chain crisis. Pictured: A Co-op store in Hertfordshire, where chocolate bags of Quality Street and Celebrations are replacing fruits and vegetables

The analysis from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) also shows that 7,490 job adverts have been posted for HGV drivers in the UK over the last week. Pictured: Containers sit on the tarmac at Felixstowe Port on October 14.

John Gray, Vice President, UK Operations at Emsi Burning Glass, said: ‘Growth in employer demand over in recent weeks has not only been extremely strong, it has also been comprehensive in terms of geographies and sectors. 

‘The fact that the number of online job postings grew in all but three local authorities in the last week, and across the majority of occupations, is testament to just how strongly demand for workers has picked up right across the country since the steep decline at the start of the year.

‘However, although demand is strong, numerous stories in the media and from employer groups suggest that many employers are really struggling to hire at the moment. 

‘This will pose interesting questions for them as to how they attract the workforce they need, including looking at the wages they are offering and including a more compelling benefits package.’

Meanwhile, separate figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed unemployment fell 126,000 in the quarter to August to 1.5million, while employment rose 235,000 to 32.4million. 

Wages enjoyed another steep rise, with average weekly earnings up 7.2 per cent with bonuses or 6 per cent without bonuses, in the three months to August. 

The ONS revealed that UK gross domestic product grew by 0.4 per cent in August this year – remaining 0.8 per cent lower than it was before the coronavirus crisis

It said that services output grew by 0.3 per cent in August with output in consumer-facing services increasing by 1.2 per cent

But the ONS stressed that the earnings figures continue to be skewed by certain factors, with lower-paid jobs being hit hardest by the pandemic.

It also revealed that UK gross domestic product grew by 0.4 per cent in August this year – remaining 0.8 per cent lower than it was before the coronavirus crisis. 

Economists said Britain’s fuel crisis and widespread shortages may have contributed to growth ‘coming to a near-standstill’ since August. 

Paul Dales, chief UK economist at research consultancy Capital Economics, warned the economy might flatline as a result of supply bottlenecks.

He added: ‘Shortages may bite harder in the coming months.

‘The recent broadening in shortages and the fuel crisis may mean that growth has come to a near-standstill since August.’

Director of Policy at the British Chamber of Commerce James Martin added: ‘There remain very real difficulties under the overall numbers, with labour and skill gaps, rising cost pressures and an increasingly onerous tax burden showing that the Government needs to act now to improve business conditions.’ 

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