The UK job market has remained incredibly robust over the last 15 months, despite the various economic and arguably political challenges.
One of the most striking features of the current market is the sheer number of job vacancies that are available across the country. Despite the ongoing pandemic, the number of vacancies in the UK remains consistently above 1 million, highlighting the sustained demand for new workers across a range of sectors.
Some sectors of industry have been badly affected by the well documented shortage of fluid temporary workers coming from the EU member states.
This point is inescapable and a clear consequence of the UK’s exit from EU membership. The strong demand for new workers has been fuelled in part by the shortage of that fluid labour pool from the EU
which remains a key feature of the UK job market.
However, the measured and reported immigration numbers and presumably a large number of whom are of working age continues to increase. The total figure of foreign born in the workforce sits at 19% of the number of available workers in the UK according to the ONS count shown in this next graph.
Far from falling since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, immigration levels have actually continued to increase in recent years. This is due in part to the UK’s new points-based immigration
system, which has made it easier for highly-skilled workers to come to the country to work and contribute to the economy.
So why does the labour market continue to be so strong and why are the shortages so pronounced?
As mentioned above, the labour market has moved in that it is not so fluid now so short term jobs at the lower end of the market are going to remain challenging to fill. Unemployment remains at record lows. The UK also has created work and roles as a consequence of Brexit with more having to be done in the UK to mitigate the importing difficulties from the EU. There is also a shortage as a consequence of illness such as long Covid and potentially now, workers waiting for medical treatment.
It remains to be seen if the strong demands in the labour market will continue but so far it seems to be holding up relative to pre Covid and Brexit levels recorded. There are still many opportunities for workers in the UK which is more acute in certain sectors.
The overall picture is one of a job market that remains remarkably strong, with opportunities available for workers of all levels and from all backgrounds. Whether you are a highly skilled worker looking to make your mark in the technology industry, or an entry-level worker looking to gain experience in a new field, there are opportunities out there for you.
As such, the UK job market remains an attractive prospect for workers both in the UK and from overseas.