Energy and Defence surge as London slumps?

Key findings include:
  • Engineering Industry up 21% YOY, Aerospace & Defence leads the way
  • London down 40% as corporate finance slows to a crawl
  • IT roles have the biggest year-on-year dip, down 42.8%
  • BAE Systems surge in recruitment over the period, vacancies up 100%

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In a sign of the times, industrial engineering, which encompasses aerospace and defence, has proven to be the top performing industry this past year, up 21% on 2022. At the same time the impact of quantitative tightening on the London market has been felt heavily across both finance and technology. As a result, vacancies in the capital are down 40% on the prior year. This is according to the latest UK labour market trends report by leading professional body APSCo and market data analysts Vacancysoft

Ann Swain – Chief Executive – APSCo comments:

“The confluence of global supply chain disruptions, the ongoing Ukraine war, double-digit inflation, and significant interest rate hikes have prompted many businesses to approach hiring cautiously. However, Britain is still a world leader, especially in high-tech industries and I expect vacancy numbers to bounce back in 2024.”

Northern England outperforms the rest of the country

Looking at the national picture, it is the North that has proven to be the most resilient, with vacancies down by 20%, compared to 30% which is the national average. With that, it is the North West and in particular Manchester, which are performing the best, as the city positions itself as the leading regional economic hub. Equally Leeds is also picking up pace. 

IT roles have the biggest year-on-year dip, down 42.8%

Looking at skills in demand, IT jobs have had the biggest year-on-year dip, with volumes down 42.8%. Generative AI is also a consideration here. Increasingly developers don’t necessarily need to write code, it can be written for them. What they do need to be able to do is curate code though. As the requirements of the role change, what will that mean for recruitment patterns? 

James Chaplin – Chief Executive – Vacancysoft comments:

“The tidal nature of recruitment to one side, structural changes in the economy post COVID have resulted in businesses reevaluating the way they ask people to work. Businesses with national offices increasingly are scaling up regional offices whilst reducing their London footprint. Whether that continues into this year is the big question.”

BAE surges in 2024, Amazon slumps to drop out of top 20 for first time in 5 years

Finally, when analysing the top performing companies of 2023, what is noticeable is the collapse of recruitment in the technology companies. Amazon has consistently ranked as a top five recruiting company in the UK for the last five years. This year it doesn’t even feature in the top twenty. It is also worth mentioning BAE Systems, which has seen a 100% increase, which is unsurprising given the impact of the war in Ukraine. As a result, recruitment has doubled year on year (along with their share price.) Indeed, we consider this company to be one to watch, as global instability increases.


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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