South – UK Regional Labour Market Trends, October 2023

The South increases its share of the national job market to 29.8% in 2023

Key findings include:

  • Q3 sees an uptick compared to Q2, suggesting the lowest point has been reached
  • Non-Profit (NFP) is poised for a remarkable year-on-year increase of 53.3%
  • Engineering is expected to see an increase in its share from 8.6% to 10.6% this year 
  • Babcock is set for a remarkable surge with a 76.3% increase in vacancies


Comparing the South’s professional vacancies to the National total, while England and Wales as a whole are predicted to see a decrease, the South as a region could increase its market share, potentially reaching 29.8% in 2023 according to APSCo and labour market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Ann Swain – CEO – APSCo – comments:

“In a job market that has seen its share of challenges, there remains significant demand for professional skills, with IT still the leading skill in demand. Similarly, the requirement for expertise in Engineering and Defence is only increasing, a sign of the diversification within the economy across the region.”

One of the other standout sectors is Non-Profit (NFP), which is poised for a remarkable year-on-year increase of 53.3%, meanwhile, the Insurance sector is likely to weather the storm relatively well, with a comparatively moderate year-on-year decrease of -18.6%.

IT continues to dominate the job market, having the highest volumes throughout the year. However, the year-on-year decline has been significant, as vacancies have fallen by 33.3%, where as a result, it is the professional area facing the most significant decline. The share of IT vacancies compared to all job functions is projected to drop from 25.3% to 21.7% as a result. Engineering, in contrast, is expected to see an increase in its share from 8.6% to 10.6% in 2023, which is a direct function of the surge in recruitment linked to the Ukraine war.

Finally, Support Services firm Babcock, is set for a remarkable surge with a projected 76.3% increase in vacancies. The company is on track to approach 1,000 vacancies, with an estimated 984 positions. Could this be linked to the swathe of Government contracts they won recently?

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