Reed.co.uk’s monthly Job Market Review gives recruiters and businesses fresh insights into what happened in the jobs market last month – including candidate insights and regional and sector labour market performance.
July 2022 Snapshot
- 217,707 adverts were posted on Reed.co.uk in July, down -5% from June
- Applications were down slightly by -2% MoM
- Sectors with the largest drop in vacancies MoM were IT (-10%), Education (-9%), Financial Services (-8%), Marketing & Media (-7%) and Sales (-6%)
- Job vacancies in Safety & Security were up by 7% MoM and 5% in Legal
- Engineering applications increased by 6% compared to June, and Legal applications were up by 3%
Candidates are still looking for jobs, despite cost of living crisis
Overall, jobs posted and applications were largely down again for July MoM. As it stands, there don’t appear to be any signs of an employment downturn, with welcome statistics showing that people are finding new jobs. This is not a surprise to see given that we are all trying to navigate the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Is Marketing facing an uncertain future?
IT saw the most significant decrease in job postings, down by -10%. Although there was little mention of IT in June, we did report a similar situation in May, where passive jobseekers and those working from home may have contributed to the decrease, which could also be the case here.
Education was down by -9%, unsurprising as the sector moves into the summer break. But it’s Marketing & Media (-7%) that stands out here, given the industry and government news surrounding the sector.
A government campaign was launched at the beginning of July, encouraging brands to cut their marketing spend and invest the money saved into lowering their prices to help customers with the cost of living crisis. If businesses came aboard, they could brand themselves with the campaign logo to show their audiences they are part of the initiative.
So how has the market responded? To say it hasn’t gone down well in the marketing community would be an understatement. You only need to look on any forum to see the outcry. Given the response online, this campaign is unlikely to be a deterrent for businesses or marketing agencies when it comes to hiring marketing roles.
Where there may be trouble ahead is the in-house marketing teams – those working as part of brands and businesses looking to cut costs from non-billing departments – who may be suffering at the hands of management that don’t quite understand the benefits of marketing investment for their business. There doesn’t seem to be much effect in the applications for the sector yet either way, with just a 1% increase MoM, but it will undoubtedly be one to watch to evaluate whether brands and businesses take the government steer here.
The mist could be clearing on the four-day week
With applications marginally down in most sectors, Engineering stood tallest with a 6% increase MoM. In a broad industry, including medical and healthcare, aerospace, robotics and AI, to name a few, the reasons for uplift could be many and varied.
There is a case, however, for the UK four-day working week trial sitting well within the sector, where traditionally it hasn’t. The pilot programme led by non-profit 4DayWeek is ongoing and the discussions around hybrid and flexible working are becoming an ever more comfortable conversation to have.
So with more people opening up to the idea and welcoming more fluidity in Engineering and the market as a whole, the rise in interest could be a demonstration of applicants reacting to businesses who recognise the need to modernise and have done so in their candidate attraction efforts.
Safety & Security – another sector in crisis?
Vacancies in Safety & Security increased by 7% from June to July after a -13% drop from May to June. But while vacancies increased, applications dropped again -6% MoM and YoY, following a decrease of 3% the previous month. So what’s going on?
The news has been telling a story of Safety & Security being another sector suffering a recruitment crisis for months now. While the monthly decreases may not seem catastrophic, they are steady nonetheless and could be a sign that the candidates aren’t interested in waiting it out.
Modernisation is on the agenda for the sector, with moves to eradicate zero-hour contracts and enrich diversity and inclusion in the industry readily discussed. But we may need to wait a little longer to see how these changes and others will help the candidate attraction efforts and recoup the flagging sector.
In short, the cost of living crisis isn’t going away, and the likelihood of employment dodging any impact at all from it seems unlikely. With businesses urged to slash costs to pass on to the customer from newly appointed cost of living tsar David Buttress and issues such as inflation directly affecting wages and growth plans, budgetary pressure is going to be felt for months to come for everyone.
There are also seasonal considerations, particularly for the Health & Social Care sector. While we are enjoying the summer months and the assumed reduced pressure from Covid-19, the industry would do well to prepare and recruit throughout the summer, ready for the Autumn temperatures. The cost of living crisis puts private healthcare out of reach for many. And so, with seasonal flu, another Covid-19 wave, a heavily stretched service and a backed-up waiting list for treatments, the sector will be bracing itself for the winter months ahead.
However, all is not bleak. The cost of living crisis has created calls from jobseekers for more flexible working opportunities and hybrid working positions to help them beat the rising costs. This is a good opportunity for businesses who are looking for a way to attract more talent through their doors. Like we saw during the pandemic, the housing market may also take a hit, with the Bank of England increasing interest rates. These changes alongside rising energy costs could prompt more workers to seek alternative options for work, including a more flexible environment and greater pay opportunities.