Vacancies are still up on pre-pandemic levels even with the slowing of the economy.

Indeed posted a report in early December, highlighting their vacancy rates which still remain higher than February 2020. The largest declines in job vacancies are still coming from those sectors led by discretionary spending, including production, retail and distribution.

Construction has been hit by the slowdown in the housing market, the year-on-year Indeed Job index shows a drop of -70 in construction, Although overall the rate of new recruitment has been softening, redundancies are still not ahead of pre-pandemic levels. It seems that most employers want to retain stable staffing so that as we move out of this economic soft patch, they have a team in place that can captivate any growth.

As the job market hardens, we can see the pressure on salaries with the sharpest fall in a number of vacancies in recent months, with the most recent report from the Office of National Statistics showing a fall in vacancies of 45,000 between September and November 2023 and this coincided with a slight dip in earnings levels. There are still some very strong numbers coming out from ONS with employee numbers at their highest since the pandemic, these are currently sitting at 30.2 million (source HMRC) and the Health and Social Care sector has seen the greatest increase in pay-rolled employees, followed by education, finance and insurance.

Indeed are suggesting that although hiring vacancies are slowing, this is at a gradual level and with net migration in 2022 being at its highest level at 745,000, these figures remain high with humanitarian routes from Ukraine and Hong Kong remaining open.

The most recent vacancy rate stands at 949,000 which took us up to November 2023.

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