Midlands – UK Regional Labour Market Trends, February 2024

Key findings include:
  • January 2024 has more vacancies than any month going back to March 2023
  • The Public Sector was the only industry to see vacancy growth in 2023
  • Real Estate and construction remains the leading industry, across the midlands
  • National Grid had the biggest surge with an uplift of 98.8% in 2023.


Job vacancies in 2023 fall by 23.7% compared to 2022, according to the latest UK Labour Market Trends report by leading professional body APSCo and labour market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Nonetheless, there are positive signs looking ahead. With the latest data showing the UK economy is picking up, that has been reflected in the recruitment happening this year, so far. For example, in January, there were more vacancies than in any month going back to March 2023, and as the economy picks up speed, this trend is expected to continue.

Ann Swain – Chief Executive – APSCo – comments:

This year has seen an improvement to last, and with the slowdown of 2023 now behind us, the pick up in the economy is now manifesting as recruitment starts to pick up.

Within the East Midlands the Public Sector is the only area to grow in vacancies YOY

Within the East Midlands, the public sector has continued to see growth in vacancies, with volumes up by 33.3%, making it the only area to see an uplift year on year. As a result, it has risen in terms of the share of total professional vacancies from 9.6% in 2022 to 17.3% last year.

In contrast, Financial Services saw the sharpest decline. with vacancies dropping by 39.4%. As a result, it dropped to 9.5% of the all-industry total. The Real Estate industry also had a significant drop, with vacancies down 37.3%, despite this, it remains the leading industry for professional vacancies in the region.

Real Estate and Construction Dominate West Midlands

Looking at the West Midlands, Real Estate and Construction remains the leading industry for new vacancies. However, after a decline of 30.9% in vacancies, the share within Real Estate, compared to the all industry total has fallen from 18.6% to 16.7%. Consumer Goods & Services has seen the largest fall, with vacancies dropping by 42.7% year on year.

The Public Sector is where there has been the most growth year on year, with vacancies up 22.5% in 2023 compared to 2022. Similarly, this trend has continued, where so far in 2024 there has been an increase in 18.8% compared to last year’s monthly average. 

James Chaplin – Chief Executive – Vacancysoft comments;

As the UK progresses with its industrial strategy aimed at leading the world in high-tech industries, the Midlands is a pivotal component for its success. However to achieve this, Government investment is critical.”

Recruitment at Jaguar Landrover collapses, National Grid surges 

Recruitment at Jaguar Landrover has collapsed in 2024, with vacancies so far this year down 60.6% on the 2023 monthly average. After being the leading recruiter across the Midlands in both 2022 and 2023, this fall has meant that the National Grid is now the leading organisation in terms of new professional vacancies so far this year. As Government energy policy is implemented, this is manifesting in recruitment in the National Grid, with vacancies up 98.8% when comparing 2023 to 2022, where this trend has continued into 2024, with the monthly average this year up 117.1% compared to last year.

Delve into UK recruitment trends analysis to gain insights that shape the market!

All data featured in this report is available in the Vacancy Analytics platform, which is updated in real-time and allows for interactive analysis, giving you the power to drill into trends to identify the key insights, you need to power your business.

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