North East – UK Regional Labour Market Trends, June 2024

Growth Divergence Amid Manufacturing Investments, Recruitment Struggles

 

Key findings include:
  • Decrease in North East vacancies by 0.8%.
  • Real Estate roles saw the biggest vacancy surge, up 11.2%.
  • Professional Services demonstrated a recovery, with a 22.4% increase YoY
  • Home Group stands out with a remarkable 68.9 % increase in recruitment

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With the UK still experiencing lower levels of labour market economic activity than before the pandemic, the North East faces the challenge of a growing divergence in growth compared to the southern regions of the country.

Activity in the North East has remained flat year on year, with 16,766 positions published in 2024 so far. Delving further, the region continues to struggle, with a 0.8% decrease in vacancies following a substantial 20.2% drop previously. In terms of total market share, there is a slight decline from 2023 (2.1% to 2.0% year-to-date), but a notable contrast to the 1.8% in 2022. This is according to the latest UK Labour Market Trends report by APSCo and labour market data analytics firm Vacancysoft.

Real Estate roles saw the biggest vacancy surge, up 11.2%

Following a 20.16% decline in vacancy numbers from 2022 to 2023, the North East region is projected to see a further 0.82% drop by 2024. Despite these overall declines, the 2024 data reveals that three professional functions have experienced an increase in vacancies compared to the previous year. The biggest improvement was seen in Real Estate roles, with volumes up by 11.2%. Similarly, growth was noted in Construction and Engineering, up by 4.3% and 4.8%, respectively.

In contrast, the biggest decline was for HR professionals, down by 13.6%. Also noteworthy is a decrease in vacancies for IT roles, with a 3.7% drop.

Professional Services demonstrated a recovery, with a 22.4% increase YoY

A review of industry data indicates that most sectors reversed their decline in 2024, following a challenging 2023 when half experienced decreases. Professional Services demonstrated a remarkable recovery, with a 22.4% increase in vacancies after suffering a 28.4% drop in 2023, marking the largest increase in vacancies to date. Similarly, Technology, Media & Telecoms also showed vacancy growth of 13.4%.

In contrast, Financial Services is particularly notable for a 13.8% decrease in vacancies after a substantial decline the previous year. The Retail/Consumer Goods & Services (CGS) sectors saw a 21.0% decline, continuing the downward trajectory from a 40.4% decrease in 2023.

Home Group stands out with a remarkable 68.9 % increase in recruitment

In 2024, approximately half of the top 20 companies in the North East region have seen a decrease in vacancies. However, Home Group, part of the Not-for-Profit (NFP) sector, experienced the highest increase in vacancies, rising from a 14.1% increase in 2023 to a substantial 68.9% year-to-date. Among the three Real Estate companies in the top 20, only Aecom showed an increase in vacancies, with a modest 1.8% rise after a 50.0% decrease in 2023.

The technology sector has continued its downward trend; however, TSG stands out by reversing this pattern, with an 8.9% increase in 2023 and an impressive 76.3% increase in vacancies this year.


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