Wales – Regional Labour Market Trends, June 2023

Public Sector recruitment surges in Wales as the country outperforms the rest of the UK so far this year

Recruitment in Wales hit record levels in 2022, where while the forecast for 2023 suggests a potential decrease of 5.3%, in England the drop has been 25.6%. As a result, the Welsh economy has proven more resilient in creating jobs so far in 2023, according to the Professional Body, APSCo, and labour market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Other Key findings include the following:

  • March was the record month for recruitment so far this year
  • In 2022, Cardiff had a 58.6% share, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 41%.
  • The Public Sector and Not-for-Profit have a projected growth of 99.5% in 2023, making this the stand-out growth industry for jobs in Wales
  • Lloyds is on track to see an increase of over 100% in professional vacancies year on year, two years in a row

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Looking back at the period, the most productive month was October 2022, when 1,280 jobs were posted in Wales, where March was the record month for recruitment so far this year. Indeed Q1 2023 was busier for recruitment than the same time period in 2022.

“The outlook for 2023 is one of cautious optimism. While there is a challenging economic backdrop, the indicative strength of the core sectors in the country should provide a good foundation for the Welsh economy and job market,” according to Ann Swain, APSCo Chief Executive.

Cardiff reached a peak of 6,788 vacancies in 2022, which meant it had a 58.6% share of the national total and a notable year-on-year increase of 41%. However, the forecast for 2023 predicts a slight dip of -16.3%, meaning that the Capital has slowed down faster than other parts of the country.

The Public Sector / Not-for-Profit (NFP) industry stands out in terms of the activity seen in 2023, with a projected growth of 99.5%, resulting in there being a 25.8% share across all industries.

“For the Welsh Government to achieve their post-COVID objectives, there are many areas being scaled up, for example, the CDPS is now embarking on a major recruitment blitz for IT people. This approach is at odds with the rest of the UK which is seeing recruitment in the public sector slow down,” said James Chaplin, Vacancysoft CEO.

In terms of companies to watch, Lloyds is on track to see an increase of over 100% in professional vacancies year on year, two years in a row. Other noteworthy organizations include Admiral, PCI Pharma and Convatec.

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