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Worker demand plateaued from January-April 2023



The number of active job postings has remained stable and above 1.4 million since January 2022, according to April’s Labour Market Tracker from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

The number of active postings in the week of 17-23 April was almost 1.7 million. 

This was a 4% increase compared to the previous week, as employers returned to hiring after the Easter break. 

The report comes after candidate availability rose for the first time in two years in April. 

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Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said the report marks a stable pattern of demand in the labour market. 

He said: “Smoothing out week-to-week volatility driven by bank and school holidays, this is relatively stable with 180,000 to 200,000 new vacancies every week and more than 1.4 million active job adverts.” 

However, he added there is still variation in demand by sector. 

There were notable increases in adverts for jobs as collector salespersons and credit card agents (18.4%), dental practitioners (13.2%), and glaziers, window fabricators and fitters (12.6%). 

He added: “Our members report that vacancies have weakened somewhat in the big sectors which have been strong since onset of the pandemic – logistics, driving and food – while the market remains healthier elsewhere.  

“Likewise, the growth in adverts for collector salespersons and credit card agents shows the effects of the cost of living squeeze, as consumers switch behaviour towards lower-cost shopping and spread out payments more. 

“This changing picture makes ensuring workers can find their way to sectors where demand is high all the more important.”  

There was also a marked increase in demand for secondary school teachers from 20,607 weekly active postings on 13 March to 23,530 on 17 April. 

Teachers in England went on strike on 2 May after the National Education Union (NEU) rejected the government’s offer of a 5% pay increase in April. 

The failure to resolve teachers’ pay, Carberry said, is exacerbating turbulence in the ability to hire. 

He added: “Schools are increasingly struggling to recruit this year with more than 46,500 job adverts.  

“This is after the double-digit percentage rise in education vacancies we reported last month. This happens when employers fail to address pay and people’s experience at work.  

“Teachers face a double whammy because their pay has stagnated, but they are also losing classroom help, such as teaching assistants and new technology, because of a squeeze on school budgets.” 

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