Knowledge is Power

Is it True? Is it Official? Hope Not

The latest Labour Market Tracker report shows that the number of new job postings has reached an all-time post-pandemic low. The number of active job adverts in the UK is a key marker of the state of the labour market. 

While it has dipped and peaked during 2022 in general, the number of new job adverts dropped in the week of 19th – 25th September to only 143,000. These levels have not been seen since April and are further indication (if we needed it) that the country is heading for a recession.

Read on to find out more.

The REC’s most recent labour market tracker harvested data from tens of thousands of job boards in the UK between 12th and 25th of September. The resulting report found that the number of new job postings had dropped to their lowest in 6 months.

In this same week there were 1.45 million active job adverts, which is the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic. And while these figures are still high compared to pre-pandemic, the reduced numbers don’t reflect the usual hiring growth seen in September, particularly in sectors which often see increases to account for seasonal hiring.

Economic instability and cost of living worries

Employers are likely holding off on hiring due to economic instability and reports suggest that hiring freezes are becoming more common thanks to market pessimism. Workers themselves also appear to be making the decision to stay in current roles because of uncertainty and pressure due to the cost of living crisis. 

Demand outstripping supply

But labour demand and supply are still lacking balance. There remains a noticeable shortage of labour, which means that organisations with additional labour needs are going to continue to feel the impact of a longer hiring window. Even if the economy continues to slow down, the need for key skills isn’t going away. This means that employers will have to work extra hard to retain staff by offering flexibility and pay reviews.

The cost of living and cost of doing business crisis continues to dominate headlines. And although new hires are increasingly demanding salaries which reflect higher costs, the rate of starting pay for both permanent and temporary hires rose only slightly in September.

Some sectors continue to buck the trend

But not all sectors are slowing their recruitment drives. Education saw an increase, probably due to the new school term, and healthcare continues to struggle as turnover looks like it is still rising. The sector is facing record numbers of vacancies and continued labour shortages.

Off-payroll Shake Up 

In addition, some rightly or wrongly believe the news of the repeal of the controversial Off-payroll reforms will likely bring back more available contractors, as companies who put a blanket ban on hiring PSC’s might be able to relieve some of the pressure by now looking at hiring Off-payroll labour support. 

At a time when there seems to be nothing but doom and gloom in the news, and uncertainty in almost every area, these latest figures seem to reflect the general feeling of a nation. But if it’s any consolation, these numbers are being repeated everywhere the world over as we struggle to get to grips with the full economic fallout of a pandemic and widespread political instability.

We at Ship Shape will continue to support our clients and contractors during this difficult time and are here to provide advice for your unique situation. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions at all. 
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