Despite the uncertain economic climate last year, vacancies were at record numbers, jumping from 2.3 million in 2021 to 2.6 million in 2022. That’s according to new research – Feeling the Pain: jobs hold firm but recovery will be Slow – from the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology.
Broadbean’s research reveals that with companies across all sectors contending with skills deficits, hiring activity rose sharply last year and stood at one million more than seen in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Looking specifically at job types, the data also reveals that the number of permanent roles advertised last year increased at a higher rate than contract and temporary jobs. In 2022, permanent vacancies accounted for 69% of all jobs, an increase of five percentage points from the year before. This is perhaps indicative of an increased level of optimism and business sentiment as businesses resumed hiring activity in the wake of the pandemic.
Opportunity Knocks: Job Applications Spike
Elsewhere, the research revealed that more than 59 million applications for jobs were submitted last year as the workforce continued to battle with the cost-of-living crisis. However, despite the applications per vacancy (AVP) rate rising from 21.91 in 2021 to 23.21 in 2022, it is still some way short of the 41.1 figure of 2020. This is further evidence of the widening skills gaps impacting many sectors and is perhaps a word of warning to employers who will need to do more to attract candidates in a tight labour market where the cards are firmly in the hands of talent.
Alex Fourlis, Managing Director At Broadbean Technology Commented:
“The rise in vacancy levels we saw last year – during a period of huge economic upheaval – clearly demonstrates the sheer demand for skills we are seeing from organisations that are experiencing mass talent shortages. And while on the surface the surge in application numbers may seem positive for hirers, the fact remains that they are well under that of 2020 figures. With the cost-of-living crisis, coupled with the skills shortages, putting candidates firmly in the driving seat, employers will need to focus firmly on their attraction and retention strategies.
“While recent forecasts suggest the UK may narrowly avoid a recession, the fact remains that we are still in a period of uncertainty which will continue to put pressure on the labour market. And with candidates still very confident about their career prospects – and certainly willing to move for more pay or better flexibility – employers may still be in for a challenging talent landscape”.