June 2022, What’s Going On With the UK Job Market?

We started writing monthly UK job market round-ups in October 2021. The furlough scheme brought in to compensate workers who couldn’t work due to covid lockdowns was coming to an end. There was a lorry driver shortage due to new Brexit-induced EU trading. And, if you hadn’t blocked out the memory as we had, you’ll remember there were long queues for petrol as panic buying was back with a bang. 

October 2021 was unprecedented times (flashbacks of Boris Johnson addressing the nation in March 2020 **shudders**). So what’s happening now? Did our predictions come true? 

Candidate shortage remains

There were already whispers of talent shortage towards the end of 2021, but with the end of furlough and redundancies expected when businesses started up again, it was expected to even out again. But, the latest KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs survey found overall candidate availability continued to fall sharply in the first half of 2022. Top talent are cautious to move roles as there’s a shaky outlook. Covid is still rearing its head with new waves popping up and a possible recession is being mentioned more and more frequently. Not to mention mass redundancies in large cooperations like Kllarna and Netflix making the headlines. If you are happy in the role you’re in, why take the risk? There are also widespread skills shortages and fewer foreign workers affecting staff availability to contend with.

Overflowing vacancies 

IT and Computing sectors saw the biggest increase in demand for permanent staff in May. Closely followed by the Hotel and Catering industry. Having been hit hard during covid lockdowns and forced to completely shut down longer than any other business, hospitality saw many people leaving the industry altogether for a new career path. Retail saw the softest rise in temporary vacancies however this could all change after the summer in the lead up to Christmas. This could be our first “normal” Christmas since 2019 thanks to high infection rates and lockdowns over the past two years. We could see a real sense of “going all out” and the return of traditional Christmas shopping days. Pressure on the shops over online would mean even more vacancies. 

Are we finally “precedented” then?

In short, no. Employers, employees and job-seekers are all cautious they make the wrong decision and it turns out to be detrimental to their business or income. If these last 2 years have taught us anything though it’s that the recruitment industry will fight on and find a way. We look forward to seeing what innovative solutions you come up with for the changing environment.

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