By Daniel Hunter
New figures released by the totaljobs.com barometer show that the number of jobs posted across the UK has increased by 12% year on year. This surge in job opportunities has eased competition for jobs, with 16 applications made per job compared to 18 at the start of 2013 showing a step towards renewed jobseeker confidence.
The Totaljobs Barometer follows over 4.8 million jobseekers and 5,000 recruiters each month and, crucially, is three months ahead of the ONS unemployment statistics reporting.
In contrast to this positive view, London faced a 5% decrease in the number of jobs posted compared to 2012, potentially due to a lull after the Olympic and Paralympic Games, sending the number of applications per job up by 4%. As a result, the capital remains one of the toughest places to find work, with 23 applications made per job, compared to just nine applications per job in East Anglia and in the South West.
The impact of warmer weather on the employment market is reflected within this quarter’s data, with transport and logistics jobs increasing by 14% compared to Q1, and opportunities within construction increasing by 8%. However, this year’s disappointing spring did mean dim prospects in some industries, including a 10% fall in the number of jobs in the catering and hospitality sector compared to the same period last year, where they remained high throughout the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
“Greater competition in London and the lack of ongoing employment after London 2012 may now encourage some jobseekers to consider other locations — a so-called ‘reverse Dick Whittington’ effect," John Salt, Website Director at totaljobs.com, commented.
"There appears to be increasing opportunities in the north of the country in particular, which is a trend that should continue as the Government gets back on track with major rail infrastructure plans.
“The number of opportunities available have increased in almost every sector, including those that don’t normally require the employment of candidates with formal qualifications, such as catering, construction and administrative jobs. This is especially important for those collecting their GCSE, A-level or vocational qualifications this summer, and are hoping to get straight into work, laying the foundations for the UK’s recovery.
“The fact that employment opportunities have increased since last year is bound to contribute to cautious confidence amongst jobseekers and employers, and it is this cautious confidence that should encourage the growth and investment that this country needs.”
Education, education, education
A sector that has seen a huge change in the past twelve months is education, which has posted an 82% increase compared to this time last year. Other areas of the public sector have also seen considerable growth including health and nursing which has seen a 69% growth in new opportunities compared to Q2 in 2012.
John Salt continues: “Education remains one of the most attractive prospects for new graduates because of its relative long-term safety in the face of shake-ups in finance and business reshuffles. Education is also a sector in which employees can develop core employment skills such as leadership, public speaking and organisation, and it therefore opens doors to other options in the future.”
A digital focus
With technology becoming a primary focus in education policy, and with the fast-paced developments currently occurring in the sector, there has been a 30% rise in the number of applications for jobs in the electronics sector. With a 10% rise in applications for IT and internet jobs, there is also an indication that jobseekers are catching wise to future growth areas in the market and directing their ambitions towards these sectors.
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