November Job Market Review

women looks happily at tablet screen’s monthly Job Market Review gives recruiters and businesses fresh insights into what happened in the jobs market in the last month – including candidate insights and regional and sector labour market performance.


November 2021 Snapshot

  • Vacancies posted on increased again up 18% from last month
  • All sectors and regions down on applications compared to October -11% – an expected decrease in line with hiring seasonality


Vacancies increase again with more jobs available in Transport & Logistics and Health & Social Care 

With furlough firmly out of the picture, the market looks set to readjust itself into some sort of normality. As seasonal work was being sought and hired leading up to the festive period, it was natural to see a slight dip in October while those positions were filled.

Conversely, November saw an increase in vacancies of 18%, which isn’t necessarily notable in itself, but when you look at the news and industry insight at the time, the sectors that saw the most increase become significant. 

Transport & Logistics saw vacancies increase by over 12,000. As news reports that pressures in the sector are easing a little, with more applications for exams and licenses being taken, this rise can demonstrate confidence and existing roles being filled, allowing for more roles to be advertised (1). 

The other sector of note is Health & Social Care, which has consistently had higher numbers over the last 18 months, likely due to pressures of the pandemic and reported or assumed poor working conditions.

But, November saw a more significant increase with close to 40,000 jobs available with an eight thousand increase, whereas October saw just over 30,000.

These increases are likely due to workers leaving the sector because of the vaccine mandate placed on healthcare roles in November and correlates with candidate registrations of the same period – which we will come to later.

Elsewhere, vacancy numbers are up across the board, signalling preparation for the new year ahead, particularly in professional services vacancies- IT (25%), Financial Services (21%), Marketing & Media (12%), and a welcome increase in Engineering up 16%  from last month and approximately 55% from November 2020.


One remarkable week in November for candidate registrations

The second week of November saw a burst of activity in candidate registrations, with sign-ups for the entire week up 32% from October. The rest of the month was pretty unremarkable, aligning broadly with October 2021 and November 2020 for the last two weeks of the month. 

So why the sudden peak? News at the time reported a vaccine mandate that would require care home workers to be vaccinated by the 11th of November(2).

For those who perhaps do not want or cannot be vaccinated for any reason and work in healthcare, this will have been a significant push to leave their role and look for something new, either non-front line or a career change altogether.


Christmas wind-down in full effect with applications down across the board

Health & Social Care (-7%) and Hospitality (-17%) that had stayed higher month-on-month took a notable dip in November, correlating with the industry news and seasonality expectations of the year.

And Transport & Logistics will perhaps not celebrate a pressure ease too early with a decrease of -20% in applications from last month. But, they are not alone, as all sectors are down between -7% and -20%, which is natural given the typically disjointed Christmas period for recruitment and job seeking. 

And while confidence in the recruitment market is improving, it is still very much driven by the candidate, and employers are still struggling with a lack of applications and suitable candidates for lower-skilled and hard to fill roles – with a jump of 39% to 47% in the last quarter alone (3).

However, with salaries staying relatively stable for another month, showing slight increases in £0-£25k (3%) and £75k+ (2%) and a minor decrease in £25-£50k (-5%), candidates will be managing the here and now and looking to the new year for any applications and plans for career changes. 


Looking ahead: Will pandemic restrictions set the market back again?

We wait with bated breath to see if any further restrictions come in for the UK in response to the ongoing pandemic. But, businesses will be better prepared this time, not wading into the unknown as per the last two years.

As mentioned, the market is still very much candidate-driven, and with the experience the pandemic has brought employers and candidates alike, everyone is better educated on what they can expect and offer each other. 

Furlough finishing did not bring the wave of redundancies the market was dreading, providing relief for thousands of workers across all sectors and the country.

And, encouragingly, the CIPD reports that employers are taking positive action in hiring practices and their offerings such as raising wages (47%), upskilling staff (44%), employing more apprentices (27%) and improving job quality (20%) in response to candidates’ demands for job satisfaction (3).

New restrictions will be a test for employers, managing the balancing act of ‘work from home if you can’ to keep employees and customers safe while at the same time keeping revenue coming in. The sectors which will likely be more nervous with the new restrictions and forecasting for the future will be – 

Hospitality, with reports of Christmas party cancellations, covid passports for nightclub entry and the seasonal new year slump

Retail with facemasks mandatory inside from the beginning of December (3)

Health & Care will likely have the predicament of high vacancy numbers and low applications for the foreseeable.