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Booming Britain? Job sectors where vacancies have more than tripled

New analysis has revealed which UK industries have had the biggest percentage increase in job vacancies over the past year.

Business premises in London. — Image: © Tim Sandle
Business premises in London. — Image: © Tim Sandle

New analysis has revealed which U.K. industries have had the biggest percentage increase in job vacancies over the past year. For some sectors, available jobs have more than tripled. #

For example, in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector there has been a 369 percent year-on-year increase in job vacancies when comparing February-April 2021 to the same three months in 2022.

This industry also has its highest number of vacancies since records began in 2001.

The analysis uses the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data and it has been undertaken by the financial comparison site Forbes Advisor. The data has been provided to Digital Journal.

The analysis finds that the total number of job vacancies in the U.K. has nearly doubled over the past year, going from 665,000 in February, March and April of last year, to just under 1.3 million in the same timeframe this year.

The arts and entertainment sector, as indicated earlier, tops the list for the biggest relative increase in total with 38,000 vacancies being recorded in the sector between February and April 2022, compared to 8,000 a year previously.

This is followed by accommodation and food service activities, which has seen the second biggest increase compared to a year ago, as there are now nearly quadruple the jobs available (a climb of 297 percent). There has been an increase of 128,000 vacancies since February-April 2021, going from 43,000 to 171,000.

The industry with the third biggest percentage increase in job opportunities is transport and storage, where vacancies have increased by 128%. There are now 57,000 available positions compared to 25,000 one year ago.

The forecast-busting US jobs report last week has stoked expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates at least four times this year
Image: © AFP Frederic J. BROWN

Overall, the industries with the highest number of vacancies are human health and social work activities, with 212,000, accommodation & food service activities with 171,000, and wholesale & retail trade (including repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles), with 163,000.

The complete top ten is shown in the following table:

Rank Industry sector Change % Change on year (in thousands) Total job vacancies (in thousands) 
Arts, entertainment & recreation 368.8 30 171 
Accommodation & food service activities 296.5 128 87 
Transport & storage 127.7 32 38 
Other service activities 123.9 14 49 
Retail 109 53 71 
Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 103.6 83 
Motor Trades 97 10 51 
Wholesale 94.4 20 212 
Water supply, sewerage, waste & remediation activities 90.7 78 
10 Professional scientific & technical activities 83.9 59 96 

Not every sector has seen survives, with electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply seeing a slight dip in job availability.

Commenting on the figures, a spokesperson from Forbes Advisor tells Digital Journal: “The cost of living crisis is causing a lot of concern across the country, however from an employment point of view these job vacancy statistics are encouraging – there are more opportunities now than there have been in the past 20 years, with vacancies in some industries increasing by more than 10 percent in the last quarter alone.” 

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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