UK job adverts at record high in buildup to Christmas – business live

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Britain’s ongoing labour squeeze is continuing in the run up to Christmas, as firms continue to struggle to fill vacancies.

The number of active job postings at UK firms hit 2.68 million in the first week of November, a record high, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) this morning.

Growth in job adverts shows “no signs of slowing down in the build up to Christmas”, REC says, despite concerns about increases in the cost of living and the persistent presence of COVID-19.

Another 221,000 ads were added during the week – the fourth highest weekly figure since the start of 2020. It highlights that the worker shortages that have hampered the UK’s recovery have not eased, as growth slows over the summer.

UK job adverts

UK job adverts week-by-week Photograph: REC

Driving instructors saw the biggest jump in adverts, up over 32% week-on-week, followed by prison officers (+13.0%), and fork-lift truck drivers (+9.1%).

Adverts for secondary school teachers rose 9.1% with fitness instructors (+7.7%) and care workers and home carers (+7.1%), also in demand.

Hospitality firms are also struggling to hire, with ads for bar staff (+3.2%), chefs (+3.1%) and waiters and waitresses (+2.7%) up again.

These vacancies could give workers the upper hand in pay negotiations — at a time when the cost of living squeeze is hitting families.

But there were “notable fall in adverts for construction sector roles”, where shortages of raw materials have been hitting the sector. Ads for painters and decorators fell 17.8%, along with roofers (-13.4%), and bricklayers (-11.3%).

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, says:

“The latest job advert numbers show recruitment activity staying strong in the run-up to Christmas. The general positive trend varies by region and sector, however. London has been affected more than other areas by the rise of hybrid working, and its jobs market continues to grow at a slower pace than the rest of the UK.

And while roles in logistics and care are in high demand, the construction sector saw a drop-off last week as supply issues constrained the industry’s ability to work to capacity.

UK’s top hiring hotspot last week was Telford and Wrekin (+19.4%) followed by South Teesside (+13.9%).

But the East of England lagged – with three of the bottom ten local areas for growth: Breckland and South Norfolk (-3.6%), North and West Norfolk (-2.4%), and Bedford (-2.2%).

City A.M.

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November 12, 2021

The US dollar is on track for its best week in almost five months, after America’s inflation rate hit a three-decade high this week, raising pressure for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. Gold could post its best week in six months.

The agenda

  • 10am GMT: Eurozone industrial production for September
  • 3pm GMT: University of Michigan consumer sentiment index
  • 3pm GMT: JOLTS survey of US job openings


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