Innovantage detects significant increases in job ads posted in year-on-year comparisons.

Demand Barometer – February 2019.

The volume of Education (+56 per cent YoY), H&SC (+31 per cent) and Finance & Insurance (+29 per cent) ads skyrocket. The number of original job ads posted online in January 2019 was 19.3 per cent higher than in the same month in 2018. Official vacancy numbers were up by just 5.6 per cent but YoY changes in advertising volumes vary significantly by sector. 

At 3.19 million January 2019, the number of original job ads captured by Innovantage was 19.3 per cent higher than in the same month last year and a noteworthy 41.4 per cent higher than in January 2017.  

  • In addition, 1064k reposts of previous adverts were captured – suggesting that the role was unfilled via the original post and/or it was a role that an employer continually advertises. This equated to 33 per cent of the volume of original ads posted – significantly higher than the 22 per cent reposted ad rate recorded in October 2018.
  • At 4.25M, the combined total of original job ads and reposts was 28.0 per cent higher than in January 2018, and 40.6 per cent higher than in January 2017.  

Behind the 19.3 per cent YoY increase in the volume of original job ads, there was a widely varying picture, by industry. This ranged from a significant 56.0 per cent YoY growth in the numbers of ads in the Education sector to 13.0 per cent fewer ads for roles in the IT & Telecoms.

As to what extent ongoing uncertainty over the future rights of non-UK nationals to stay and work in the UK is impacting the availability of staff, it is undoubtedly exacerbating legacy worker shortages. Whilst the total number of non-UK nationals in the UK workforce continues to increase, there are net losses of nationals from key countries upon which different industries have become historically reliant.  

In new ONS data for the period to October-December 2018, a 2.8 per cent YoY decline (-61k) in EU nationals was more than offset by an increase of 11.2 per cent (130k) increase in workers from the rest of the world. The decline in the EU national workforce continues to be driven by the net loss of workers from EU8 countries (including Poland and the Czech Republic), down by 9.3 per cent (89k), YoY. It is also interesting to note that the net YoY increase in workers from Romania and Bulgaria slowed to just 2.4 per cent (+9k). 

Amongst changes in the non-EU workforce population:

  • The number of workers from Africa (277k) rose by 4.4 per cent (12k) YoY, 
  • The number of Asian nationals (583k) increased by 16.7 per cent (85k), including a 9.9 per cent (17k) increase in Indian Nationals (194k) and a 23.5 per cent (20k) increase in a nationals from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • The number of worker of US nationality (96k) increased by 5.1 per cent (5k).
  • The number of Australian and New Zealand nationals (71k) fell by 20.5 per cent (-18k).

Setting the 19.3 per cent annual growth in the number of original job ads into context of the most recent total number of UK workforce jobs (35.1 million in September 2018), the workforce jobs total was just 0.5 per cent (185k) higher than a year earlier and 1.5 per cent (537k) higher than in September 2016. And in context of the official ONS vacancy number for the quarter ending January 2019 (870k), UK vacancy numbers were 5.6 per cent higher than the figure one year earlier and 15.5 per cent higher than in November 2016-January 2017. 

For each official vacancy, employers and their intermediaries posted 3.7 original jobs ads in January 2019 (a ratio of 3.7 to 1):

  • This was higher than the ratio of 3.2 to 1 recorded one year earlier. 

The ratio of total ads (including reposts) to official vacancies was 4.9 to 1 in January 2019:

  • This was up from 4.0 to 1 in January 2018.  

There was a stark difference in the original job ad to vacancy ratios by sector, however, ranging from a 1.0 ads to 1 vacancy for Accommodation & Food Service jobs to 7.1 ads to 1 vacancy for Professional, Scientific & Technical roles. 

Engagement status: 26 per cent of original ads, where the engagement status was specified, were for contingent opportunities

There were 1,375k original ads (43.1 per cent) specifying a permanent opportunity in January 2019:

  • This was 5.2 per cent higher than the figure recorded in January 2018, when perm equated to 48.9  per cent of all original ads.
  • 74.2 per cent of all original ads, where the engagement status was specified, were for permanent opportunities. 

There were 477k original ads (15.0 per cent) specifying a contract or temporary opportunity in January 2019:

  • This was 6.0 per cent lower than the figure recorded in January 2018, when 19.0 per cent of ads specified a contingent opportunity.
  • There was a 19.7 per cent increase in the number of ads highlighting that work was temporary, whilst there was an 18.3 per cent fall in contract opportunities.
  • 25.8 per cent of all original ads, where the engagement status was specified, were for contingent opportunities. 

There were 1,306k original ads (41.0 per cent) in January 2019 that did not carry any detail of engagement status, this was up from 30.9 per cent in January 2019.

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