Manufacturing Boom Driving Strong Growth in UK Vacancies
UK vacancy growth is truly powering ahead this month, with the number of advertised job vacancies across the country rising 14% in the past year, according to Adzuna’s latest Job Market Report.
Overall the UK jobs market improved in January, with a steady increase in the number of advertised vacancies. There were 768,104 vacancies in total, a 14% increase from the previous year, and a 3% increase compared to December 2013.
The growth in vacancies has been boosted by a dramatic increase in manufacturing and engineering sector jobs. Helped by a particularly strong recovery in Britain’s car industry and a growing trend for re-shoring production back to the UK, vacancies in the manufacturing sector, for example, have tripled over the past year.
Manufacturing leading the way
Manufacturing currently accounts for over 10% of the UK’s gross value and employs around 2.5 million people around the country. It accounts for more than half of the UK’s exports and around three quarters of the country’s business research and development. New orders across the sector increased by a third in the three months to January as exports increased in volume.
Growth in the UK’s car industry has helped to drive the number of advertised vacancies in the manufacturing sector to 10,012 in January 2014 – triple the number advertised in January 2013. Britain built more than 1.5m cars in 2013, the highest total since 2007, spurring experts to predict that UK car production will surpass 1970 record levels by 2017.
Nissan, the UK’s largest car manufacturer, started production of the new Qashqai at its Sunderland factory in January 2014, where more than 7,000 people are now employed. Crossrail has provided further opportunity for new vehicle-production in the UK. Bombardier has won a contract to produce the trains for the project at its Derby factory, as well as being tasked with building a train depot at Old Oak Common in West London.
The manufacturing recovery is also speeding up as a result of the growing trend among British businesses for re-shoring – bringing production back to the UK. Since 2011, about 1,500 offshore manufacturing jobs have been moved back to the UK. This homeward migration is set to continue as new technologies help the UK to become a more competitive production centre. This ‘third industrial revolution’ is reducing the need for manual labour – traditionally sourced overseas – and increasing demand for highly skilled designers and engineers.
Where are all the jobs?
A prominent North-South divide still persists in the job market, despite an increase in vacancies. Nine of the top ten cities to find a job in January were in the South, while seven of the worst ten cities to find a job were in the North. Cambridge – one of the nation’s high-tech hubs – was the best city to find a job in January (with four vacancies to every job hunter) whilst Wirral was the worst (with 27.38 jobseekers per vacancy).
Competition for vacancies has become even more intense in some Northern cities. In Salford and Rochdale, competition for jobs rose by over 18% month-on-month.
Check out other recent Job Market Reports here (January 2014, December 2013, and November 2013) and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with more exciting news. If you need anything data-wise contact us here, where our resident army of data nerds are always happy to help with any query.