HR · 5 April 2017

Job vacancies rising in key UK cities as business confidence grows

Job vacancies
The number of job vacancies advertised in Britain grew by 14.7 per cent in March

Confidence among small business owners appears to be growing throughout Britain, as new data revealed a significant rise in job vacancies in the last month.

Job market analysis for March 2017 by job site CV Library showed a 14.7 per cent increase in advertised roles than the previous month. The figures suggested that workforce expansion has become a priority for business leaders in many UK cities.

“It’s great to see that business confidence is keeping strong,” said CV Library founder Lee Biggins, “especially in some of the UK’s key cities such as Liverpool, Brighton and Birmingham”.

Biggins confirmed that figures represented “good news” for workers seeking new opportunities, but warned employers could face a battle to fill roles with qualified candidates. Applications increased by just 4.6 per cent in the same period.

“Applications are not keeping pace with vacancies, and while it’s still positive to see that candidates are remaining active, we hope this number will pick back up in the months to come,” he added.

The catering and hospitality industries saw the greatest increase in job vacancies. Business owners in these two sectors advertised for a third more roles in March than the previous month.

The following table demonstrates which UK cities saw the largest growth in job vacancies in March 2017.

  1. Liverpool (19.9 per cent)
  2. Brighton (18.8 per cent)
  3. Birmingham (14.8 per cent)
  4. Sheffield (13.7 per cent)
  5. Leeds (13 per cent)
  6. Manchester (12.8 per cent)
  7. Bristol (12.5 per cent)
  8. London (12 per cent) 
  9. Glasgow (11.2 per cent)
  10. Cardiff (11 per cent)

Despite greater demand for staff, the 1.6 per cent increase in salaries had not kept in line with national inflation, now at 2.3 per cent. Biggins suggested that higher salaries could provide a crucial edge for smaller employers looking to fill job vacancies in a competitive market.

“With many cities and industries experiencing positive growth last month, it’s clear that the job market is staying strong, and this is particularly important now Brexit negotiations are officially underway. For businesses, offering higher salaries could be the edge they need to get ahead of their competitors and secure talented recruits,” he concluded.

Further research has pointed to greater regional growth in the UK after the EU referendum. An analysis of Companies House data showed 274 new tech startups were founded in the North West of England since June 2016. In January, it was reported that small technology firms outside of London received more investment than those in the capital for the first time in 2016.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.