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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Jobs Recovery Tracker: Growth in job adverts continued in late August led by north-west England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Press releases

  • Total job postings up to 1.12 million in last week of August
  • Growth focused in north-west England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • Scotland lags furthest behind for growth in job adverts
  • Increase in adverts for crane drivers, legal professionals and air conditioning engineers

The number of job adverts in the UK continued to rise in late August, with the total number of active job postings rising to 1.12 million in the final week of the month. That’s around 26,000 more than in the first week of August. And while the pace of growth has slowed, there were still almost 107,000 new job adverts posted in the week beginning 24 August. August is often a slower month for new postings, due to holidays.

The number of jobs posted in north-west England rose by 2.0% in late August, while they grew by 1.3% in both Wales and Northern Ireland. This continues the trend we have seen since starting the Jobs Recovery Tracker in late May, with these three regions showing the largest increase in job postings.

However, many local areas saw significantly higher growth in the last week. Four of the top ten hiring hotspots were in Wales, with the largest increases in Anglesey (+6.9%) and Swansea (+5.0%). Northern Ireland claimed three of the top ten spots, including Newry, Mourne & Down (+4.7%) and Antrim & Newtownabbey (+3.5%). The top hiring hotspot in north-west England was Mid Lancashire (+5.4%).

Meanwhile, the number of job postings in Scotland fell by 3.5% between the final two weeks of August. The bottom ten local areas for growth in job postings were all in Scotland, led by Falkirk (-11.3%) and West Dunbartonshire (-16.3%).

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“The trend of improvement in hiring we are seeing may be slow, but it is sure. As schools re-open and more businesses open up workplaces, we expect to see more adverts as firms change to reflect the new normal – including adapting air conditioning, it seems. 

“But we can’t assume an upturn in hiring means we are out of the woods, given the likely scale of job losses this autumn as firms adapt to the new reality. Government needs to work with the jobs specialists of our world-leading recruitment and staffing sector to deliver support to jobseekers urgently and encourage firms to hire. Supporting jobs through a cut in employers’ National Insurance and more flexibility in training support would both help to increase hiring activity and, more importantly, build business confidence.”

There was a rise in job adverts for a wide range of occupations in late August. Demand continued to increase for blue collar roles such as crane drivers (+9.7%) and assembly line operatives (+5.7%). Meanwhile, as more businesses open up and return to office buildings, there has also been a rise in adverts for legal associate professionals (+8.8%) and air conditioning engineers (+8.2%).

As many non-critical care medical procedures that were delayed by COVID-19 have now begun to restart, there was also a rise in job adverts for podiatrists (+5.6%), dental nurses (+5.4%) and other health professionals (+5.7%).

Matthew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi said:

“It’s encouraging to see continued recovery of recruitment marketing activity, which is also supported by the overall increase in estimated UK wide job vacancies, which rose from 337K (Apr to Jun) to an estimated 370K (May to July) according to the latest government figures. 

“When we look at the latest week’s postings data, whilst it still appears key worker sectors are dominating overall volumes, however we are seeing increased activity from several companies across the construction, technology and retail sectors.”


Notes to editors: 

  1. The Jobs Recovery Tracker is produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi, using their Job Postings Analytics data which is harvested from tens of thousands of job boards. Data was harvested between 17 August and 30 August 2020. For more details, see the attached annexes which, in league table format, detail the top and bottom ten county/unitary authorities for growth in job postings and growth by occupation type.
  2. ‘Active’ job postings are those which were live online during the specified time period. ‘New’ job postings are those which were added to the active stock during the specified time period.
  3. The Jobs Recovery Tracker will be published every two to three weeks to complement the REC’s bank of surveys including the Report on Jobs and JobsOutlook, which provide a picture of recruitment activity and employers’ confidence and hiring intentions.

For more information and interview enquiries, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157, 020 7009 2192 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.

The REC is the voice of the recruitment industry, speaking up for great recruiters. We drive standards and empower recruitment businesses to build better futures for great candidates and themselves. We are champions of an industry which is fundamental to the strength of the UK economy.

Emsi’s goal is to help local, regional and national economies function more effectively through helping people make better decisions relating to the world of work. To achieve this, we employ a team of expert economists, data scientists and software programmers to build a dataset that is highly granular, extremely robust, and easy to use. Emsi was founded in Idaho in 2000 and now serves clients in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Find out more at


Top ten and bottom ten county/unitary authorities for growth in job postings:

County/unitary authority Unique active job postings, 24-30 August Change in active job postings, 17-23 August to 24-30 August
Isle of Anglesey 388 +6.9%
Mid Lancashire 38,865 +5.4%
Swansea 2,487 +5.0%
Redbridge & Waltham Forest 8,926 +4.8%
Isle of Wight 997 +4.7%
Newry, Mourne & Down 1,067 +4.7%
Powys 1,396 +3.9%
Antrim & Newtownabbey 1,971 +3.5%
Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot 1,941 +3.5%
Derry City & Strabane 1,222 +3.4%
Angus & Dundee City 2,294 -5.9%
Clackmannanshire 2,979 -6.8%
Argyll & Bute 1,443 -7.1%
Moray 788 -7.7%
East Lothian & Midlothian 1,749 -9.0%
Scottish Borders 989 -9.7%
North Ayrshire 734 -10.3%
South Ayrshire 740 -10.5%
Falkirk 1,018 -11.3%
West Dunbartonshire 568 -16.3%


Top ten and bottom ten occupations by growth in job postings:

Occupation Unique active job postings, 24-30 August Change in active job postings, 17-23 August to 24-30 August
Crane drivers 305 +9.7%
Legal associate professionals 10,483 +8.8%
Air conditioning and refrigeration engineers 1,145 +8.2%
Ambulance staff (excluding paramedics) 422 +7.1%
Typists and related keyboard occupations 474 +6.8%
Health associate professionals n.e.c. 664 +5.7%
Assemblers and routine operatives n.e.c. 1,078 +5.7%
Market research interviewers 436 +5.6%
Podiatrists 380 +5.6%
Dental nurses 1,626 +5.4%
Nursery nurses and assistants 6,585 -2.9%
Security guards and related occupations 7,889 -3.5%
Special needs education teaching professionals 1,600 -3.7%
Glaziers, window fabricators and fitters 713 -4.6%
Sales and retail assistants 10,621 -5.5%
Dental practitioners 1,198 -6.1%
Elementary storage occupations 18,527 -8.9%
Pharmacists 3,654 -11.9%
Health and safety officers 4,746 -14.3%
Water and sewerage plant operatives 758 -22.9%


Key indicator occupations

Occupation Unique active job postings, 24-30 August Change in active job postings, 17-23 August to 24-30 August
Metal working production and maintenance fitters 16,018 +0.6%
Carpenters and joiners 3,958 +2.5%
Large goods vehicle drivers 5,807 +4.0%
Sales and retail assistants 10,621 -5.5%
Waiters and waitresses 1,511 +3.1%
Bar staff 2,419 +2.2%
Chefs 13,825 +2.2%
Programmers and software development professionals 44,571 +0.2%
Chartered and certified accountants 3,105 +0.2%
Cleaners and domestics 16,868 -0.6%
Primary and nursery teaching education professionals 26,834 -1.0%
Care workers and home carers 38,733 -0.8%
Nurses 67,164 +0.1%
Fitness instructors 3,287 +0.6%
Hairdressers and barbers 1,431 -0.4%