Small growth in jobs available in 2012 fails to keep up with demand as applications rise by 20 percent. New figures released today by the Totaljobs Barometer, the first to provide a round-up of the labour market in the first quarter of 2012, reveal that competition for posts rose from 15 to 20 applications for each job compared to the same period last year.
Although the jobs market saw a 4 percent rise in jobs year on year, areas like Scotland and Wales, suffered a huge fall in the number of jobs available; 17 percent and 18 percent percent respectively. Outside London, the area with the fiercest competition is the North East of England which has now reached a record high of 23 applications for every job posted in the first quarter of 2012 – up 15 percent on the same period last year. The Totaljobs Barometer provides one of the most comprehensive representations of supply and demand in the UK job market – importantly reporting three months ahead of official ONS statistics for which it stands up as a proven forecast. Based on the behaviour of 5.1 million jobseekers and 5,000 recruiters each month, today’s figures show how UK recruitment has fared in the first quarter of 2012. The figures also outline recruiter and jobseeker activity across 33 sectors. Whilst sectors such as accountancy, aerospace and engineering have seen strong growth, this has been offset by a significant fall in public sector jobs which have declined 58 percent year-on-year. At the same time, the total number of applications has risen by 20 percent across all sectors. The rise means that the number of people looking for work has increased, bringing a greater danger of jobs seekers desperately applying for any job and being less focused on pursuing their chosen career path, boosting the total number of applications.
John Salt, Director, totaljobs.com commented on the figures: “At the tail end of 2011, we started to see a decline in the jobs market after a fairly buoyant start to the year. This slowdown has continued into 2012 with companies reluctant to take on more staff when the economy is teetering on the brink of a double dip recession. The economic recovery that was hoped for at the start of 2012 never materialised, and with projections that GDP is likely to remain stagnant, future labour market growth is difficult to see in the short term. The most alarming thing about these numbers is the sheer volume of applicants within sectors that are not seeing any jobs growth. The secretarial and services industries are seeing 52 and 54 applications per job respectively, and there are no signs of the number of jobs available rising. This means there’s a risk of jobseekers being frozen out of the workforce entirely.”
Q1 2012: grim prospects but glimmers of hope
The gloomy economic forecasts coming into 2012 have meant recruiters are extra cautious about taking on more staff. This has been most apparent in Scotland and Wales where jobs have fallen at an alarming rate. Broadly speaking, public sector job cuts have continued to take effect into this year and although there are small signs of growth from the private sector, it fails to continue to pick up the slack sufficiently. There are, however, glimmers of hope, with graduate jobs up 16 percent on the quarter just as final year students are looking for positions after graduation. Northern Ireland is another rare success story, as jobs grew 26 percent in the first three months of this year compared to the previous quarter following recent investment from technology companies like Kelvatek and drinks industry giant Diageo.