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Latest figures hint at labour resilience and potential recovery with the usual ‘August slowdown’ being less severe compared to the previous year.

The REC and Lightcast’s latest Labour Market Tracker shows that there were 189,888 new job postings in the week of 7-13 August 2023 – 3.5% higher than the week before (31 July – August 2023) and 28.8% higher than the year before (8-14 August 2022).

Occupations with notable increases in job adverts in the week of 7-13 August 2023 compared to the previous week included:

  • Police officers – sergeant and below (+15.4%)
  • Advertising accounts managers and creative directors (+15.1%)
  • Legal professionals (+13.9%)
  • Plasterers (+12.8%)
  • TV, radio and audio engineers (+12.3%)
  • Groundsmen and greenkeepers (+11.7%)

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said, “Over the course of the last year, we have seen hiring slow gently in many sectors, while labour shortages persist in others. Businesses have been more cautious about hiring in light of high inflation and cost of capital, as well as wider economic concerns.

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“Client feedback for the past couple of months has been more positive, however, and we can see this reflected in today’s job advert numbers. Firms are ready to recruit for the future and more confident in their plan – a stark contrast with the more cautious and concerned view of August 2022.

“The high level of live job adverts remains a signal of hiring difficulties firms are experiencing in some markets, due to a range of factors including skills shortages, job design and access to candidates. It emphasises again the need for firms to get their approach to the market right, working with professional recruiters. While growth has been slow, labour supply is still constricted, and candidates have choices.

“We remain concerned by the need to drive growth in our economy – this is the only answer to delivering prosperity for workers and funding public services well. Across skills, immigration, welfare, infrastructure and taxation, a strong industrial strategy is needed to make sure that we can deliver the best from the UK’s brilliant but not limitless labour force.”

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