UK Job Market Weakens in 2023: REC Reports Decrease in Advertised Jobs


  • The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found a sharp decline in job advertisements from 2.517 million to 1.710 million within a year.
  • Despite a weakening labour market in 2023, projections suggest hiring may pick up in 2024.
  • The Bank of England is monitoring the job market closely due to inflation concerns.
  • The REC data compiled by Lightcast show a consistent trend but significantly more job vacancies than the ONS data.
  • Latest data from ONS show a 19% drop in job vacancies for the last quarter of 2023, and December data is expected on Tuesday.

Jobs Market Trend According to REC

According to a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), job advertisements experienced a sharp decline from 2.517 million to 1.710 million from the previous year in December. Even so, the number remains high by historical standards.

“The labour market experienced a weakening trend throughout the year 2023, particularly in permanent roles. However, it started from a remarkably strong base,” stated Neil Carberry, REC Chief Executive.

Bank of England’s View on Jobs Market

With concerns related to inflation, the Bank of England has developed a keen interest in the fluctuations of Britain’s job market. It anticipates potential difficulties in maintaining inflation at a steady 2% unless there is a decrease in wage growth from approximately 7% to around half that rate.

Carberry provided informal insights that employers might increase their hiring again in 2024.

REC vs ONS Job Vacancy Data

REC figures, amassed by employment data firm Lightcast, indicate a similar trend but reveal notably more job vacancies than data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The recently published ONS data exhibits a 19% reduction in job vacancies for the quarter ending November, with the statistics for December expected to be released on Tuesday.

If this trend continues, it could impact forex or trading markets, influencing assets linked to employment rates and wage growth.

PIP Penguin