• Job vacancies exceed job hunters in majority of cities, finds analysis

  • 1 Jun 2015
  • Comments 7 comments

Report reveals best and worst UK cities to find work

Research has found job vacancies now outnumber jobseekers in three in five UK cities, with results also highlighting the five best and worst places to find a job.

The number of advertised jobs has grown to more than one million, reaching a post-recession record of 1,033,435 in April 2015. This equates to a 25 per cent increase in job adverts year on year, according to the Adzuna Jobs report.

In contrast, candidate numbers have dropped to less than 800,000 for the first time since the recession making it harder for employers to fill empty posts, the report said.

Competition for jobs fell to a post-recession low of 0.77 jobseekers per vacancy in April 2015. This is down from 0.81 a month earlier and 1.39 in April 2014.

The report, based on data from the Office for National Statistics as well as the search firm’s own market data, showed that vacancies in skilled work have increased as employers advertised roles at a faster rate than the workforce could fill them.

The increase in job adverts is particularly apparent in the maintenance sector where there has been a 38 per cent rise in vacancies. And hiring in the trade and construction sector rose by 28 per cent year on year, which translates to 11,000 more roles advertised in April 2015 than in April 2014.

Cambridge was found to be the best city for people looking for work, with 0.1 jobseekers per vacancy. But this means employers have to work much harder to attract the people they want. The university city was closely followed in the rankings of job seeker per vacancy by Guildford  with 0.14, Reading (0.17), Oxford (0.19) and Winchester (0.25).

Job-hunting was found to be most competitive in Sunderland where there were  on average 5.28 jobseekers per vacancy. Hull was second with 4.2, followed by Bradford (4.13), Rochdale (3.21) and The Wirral (3.08).

Commenting on the drop in the ratio of jobseekers to advertised vacancies, Andrew Hunter, Adzuna co-founder, said: “This could be a warning sign that our workforce lacks the skills necessary to fill up many of the new jobs appearing.

"The recovery certainly has the capacity to progress further and faster – but at the moment there’s a disconnect between our abilities and our economic climate. It’s like standing outside your recently fixed up car, tuned up and ready to go, only to realise you’ve lost the keys.”

He urged the government to lead a cultural shift in making people aware of the diversity of jobs available as well the skills and training they would need to fill them.

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Comments (7)
  • A further problem is that actually we do not know how many vacancies there are in what jobs, or where. Prior to Universal Jobmatch staring in November 2012 (run by Monster, a recruitment company) vacancies were recorded using SOC codes. It was possible to see how vacancy levels changed over time and compare that with the jobs that JSA recipients were seeking. While far from perfect it did allow for a measure of analysis based on an internationally recognised taxonomy. when UJM started there was an undertaking given that vacancy data would be recorded and made available by 4-digit SOC code. That has not happened and requests for information about it meet with a 'we are unable to say when that will be available' response.  Privatising disability assessments proved disastrous. Privatising Universal Jobmatch has also proved disastrous but just hasn't had the publicity yet. ONS have confirmed to me that we no longer know how many vacancies there are in the market, we do not know the occupations in which vacancies are available; we do not know the geographical areas in which vacancies are available.  

  • An interesting article, but I am unsure of the accuracy of the numbers quoted. How can Adzuna actually know the number of job seekers? As has already been commented below, there is an unknown and uncounted number of people who are looking for employment but do not or cannot claim Jobseekers Allowance. Then there are the vacancies which are repeatedly advertised, either because the employer fails to fill the post, or where the same vacancy is being advertised by several different agencies at the same time (a not uncommon practice!).

    I would suggest that in reality there are far fewer vacancies than appear at face value, and a far higher number of potential applicants. I would also suggest that for skilled vacancies, some employers set selection criteria which are unnecessary or even unjustifiable and which only result in excluding applicants who could actually do the job. Where there are skill shortages, in some cases at least, they are in recruitment and selection techniques.

  • I agree with these points. There are many older unemployed job seekers who do not appear on any unemployment statistics, often because they are unable to claim benefits. There is still a lot of real competition for many jobs.

  • I am one of the extra 2 million people who would like to work but am not available for full time employment due to ongoing caring commitments. I've been "out of work" for more than two years since my redundancy from my part time senior post but am not officially recognised as being unemployed. My experience has been that employers (and recruitment consultants) are reluctant to offer part time hours/job shares to job seekers and would rather hire a less qualified and experienced candidate who is willing to work full time. I am being locked out of employment because of this attitude even though I'm fully qualified, up to date and have over 30 years experience in the HR profession. I have been offered full time employment and am still getting shortlisted for full time roles, but part time opportunities remain very rare and reduced hours are not negotiable at interview. I'm now volunteering in the heritage sector but not making use of my HR skills and expertise. It's very frustrating and I'm not ready to retire yet at 56! There is no skills shortage in my opinion, just a reluctance to hire part timers in professional and senior roles.

  • Thanks for your comment Roger. The figures in the piece do not refer to total unemployment and do not claim to do so. The article states that the report’s findings are an analysis based on ONS figures and the company’s own market data, not pure ONS data.

  • The latest Labour Force Survey, conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed that there are currently 1.83 million officially unemployed people, over double the amount reported by the this article. In addition to this there are over 2 million people who are 'economically inactive' and want a job but do not meet the strict definition of unemployment set by the ONS.

    Sadly this appears to be a rehash of a publicity piece by Adzuna and it would be appropriate for an organisation like the CIPD to check the statistics before putting this out as 'fact'.

  • No news here.

    We have been told repeatedly there is a shortage of skills for the past 30 years and still senior level candidates are not getting interviews for the most spurious of reasons, e.g., you can't work as a consultant in London if you don't live in London; you can't work for the NHS/council/housing/university if you've never worked for the NHS/council/housing/university; we'd prefer someone with less experience...