In June 2014, the British Government of the time, announced their headline scheme to power growth in the north. “The Northern Powerhouse” was meant to bring together cities across the North, so that they collectively could ‘take on the world’ in the words of George Osborne, who announced the initiative. Upon it being announced, a swathe of initiatives were introduced, to stimulate investment, including the Greater Manchester devolution deal along with the Northern Transport strategy. With that, what we have seen, is a geographic area that had when it was launched, accounted for 16.7% of the population of the country and 13% of the vacancies, see their share of the vacancy market rise to 20% now. Put simply, in terms of job creation, the North is outperforming the rest of the country.
“In a boom market, anyone can make money, to grow when the economy turns, that’s the real challenge.”
The latest economic data to be released, will be of concern for recruiters, more than anyone. The economy is contracting. Whilst there has been a bounce in hiring over summer, this should give room for pause, for businesses, thinking about their next twelve months. Stick or twist, expand or contract? But even if recruitment is tidal, can a recruiter beat the tide? I would argue, with data, they can.
The long-term impact of COVID has yet to be felt on the economy. Equally, the societal change is already here. Work from home and hybrid is now becoming de-rigeur, where for people with London based jobs, it is increasingly a pre-requisite, especially when factoring the commute times. This is creating its own conflict within Financial Services, especially, as banks push for people to be back to work, equally are increasingly flexible about which work location is used. For example, HSBC now employs more people in Birmingham than in London.
In contrast to most other sectors, businesses in Energy and Defence are on track to post more vacancies this year than last.
As salaries surge to match inflation, so businesses are shifting hiring away from the capital. In my previous post, recruitment is tidal, I referenced that in terms of macro job flow, what we are seeing is that 2023 is now mirroring 2019. However, there is one key distinction in that whilst activity in London is flat (vacancies in 2023 are currently on track to match 2019 exactly) outside the capital, we are seeing growth of 25.6% in terms of the monthly average, when comparing this year, to 2019, before COVID.
At first glance, 2023 looks pretty bleak. After all, there has been a dip in vacancies, year on year, of 34% in terms of the monthly average. Businesses which for the last two years were just non-stop recruiting, this year have suddenly slowed down and for recruiters, there are many who are still adapting to this reality…