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Businesses are becoming increasingly confident about hiring more staff with the first week of May seeing 181,000 new job adverts posted online, giving a total of 1.53 million active job postings in the UK.

The Jobs Recovery Tracker, produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi revealed that this figure came on top of another 211,000 in the last week of April – a new record high for any week since the onset of the pandemic.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, commented, “The jobs data continues to give us good news for the recovery. Since governments across the UK announced plans for easing lockdowns, we’ve seen a robust and rising rate of new job ads being posted. As restrictions ease, those numbers have continued to rise. Business leaders are feeling more confident now than at any point during the past year.

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“In this market, the challenge is more likely to be about helping people access newly created jobs, rather than job creation itself. The announcements on skills in this week’s Queen’s Speech will help with this – but only if employer feedback is taken on board. The consistent business feedback that the Apprenticeship Levy isn’t working needs to be addressed, with reforms that mean all workers can access training through a more flexible system. A reform to the levy would really speak to the government’s levelling up agenda.”

Matthew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi, added, “With weekly new job postings now at pre-pandemic levels and lockdown restrictions set to be eased next week, the UK job market is in a very interesting place. With the workforce shrinking significantly over the last 12 months (a combination of Covid, furlough and Brexit), we’re hearing strong anecdotes from our recruitment clients of an increasingly tight labour market in a number of sectors – particularly those that aren’t currently listed on the Skilled Worker Occupation Shortage list. There’s certainly lots to think about – and changing demand trends will continue to be a useful lead indicator of both market pressures and economic recovery.”

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