A little look at the UK labour market right now

Guest BloggerFinal Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

So you may not have met me yet, but my name’s Kareem Hameed and I work in the Careers and Placements department as part of the employer team. My main focus lies with the placements side of things which means I spend a lot of my time reaching out to amazing businesses who want to employ you!

Now in the past year, we have all been presented with challenges that we probably never thought we would have to face. With the rise of Covid-19 across the world, many of us were impacted in our personal lives as well as our work and academic lives. It was something nobody saw coming and the UK economy and job market was largely affected.

But fast forward 18 months and here we are, with things slowly returning to normal and the country opening up again, things definitely seem a lot brighter!

So what state is the UK labour market in right now?*

Well, with the UK lockdown being lifted in late June earlier this year, government data has shown a rocketing demand for workers with a record rise in the number of vacancies being advertised and the most recent data shows that the labour market is continuing to recover – how refreshing!

Unemployment rates as well as redundancy rates are both decreasing monthly and businesses are finally returning to a position where they are looking to recruit and plan for their long-term strategies which is certainly encouraging. In the UK alone, there were 83,790 graduate vacancies advertised in the past 90 days with Education and Social care work related vacancies the highest! (Burning-Glass.com). The number of jobs available also has increased by 44% compared to the last quarter which means there are plenty more opportunities for you to secure a role!

Now as we know, the events of the last year have resulted in significant job losses, however there has also been an increase in demand in certain sectors in response to the change in business needs and also the change in consumer behaviour in the past year.

So which sectors are on the rise in the UK? Let’s take a look:


During the pandemic, there was a sharp increase in online shopping. This has led to businesses taking on numerous E-commerce workers in order to help fulfil online shopping orders. There was in fact a massive 143% increase to those hired into E-commerce roles.

Healthcare Workers

The role that healthcare workers play in society is extremely important and this was bought to light even more so during the pandemic. There was a 104% increase in the number of healthcare-related roles advertised in the UK in the last year covering roles like home carers and healthcare assistants.

Digital Content Creators

Another area that has seen an increase in demand is digital content production. This is largely due to the fact that there has been an increase in people consuming digital marketing material and also businesses changing marketing strategies to meet consumer behaviour. Also, with more people spending time at home, there is a greater demand for digital content and entertainment.


With schools and academic institutions using online platforms more in response to the pandemic, there has been in a rise in the demand for teachers and tutors especially those specialising in English and Maths.

Software Development

Technology is continuing to advance and with an increased reliance on technology alongside a skills shortage in the tech sector, there is a strong demand for software development workers.

The sectors above are those of which are seeing growth, but the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit has still led to staff shortages in a multitude of various positions and this has had an impact on UK businesses.

These are the roles that currently have the most vacancies according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

  1. HGV Drivers
  2. Nurses
  3. Programmed/Software Development
  4. Care Workers and home carers
  5. Primary and nursery teaching professionals
  6. Chefs
  7. Sales and Retail assistants
  8. Cleaners and Domestics
  9. Metal working and maintenance fitters
  10. Carpenters and Joiners

Do any of these surprise you at all? Some were certainly a surprise for me!

So, now that we have looked a little more into the current jobs market, I guess the question is, how does this all affect you?

Well, unemployment rates for younger people decreased by 13,000 from the previous quarter and job vacancies are on the rise so the jobs market is in a good place right now for younger people and graduates.

My advice would be to stay pro-active whilst searching for job opportunities, and when attending careers fairs and other employer events, speak with the employers to get a better understanding of the roles on offer as there could be a lot of different opportunities that you didn’t know you’d enjoy!

In essence, we have learnt that the labour market looks to be in a much better place right now with loads of job vacancies being advertised for young people and graduates….it’s fantastic news and a very exciting time so stay positive, prepare well and go out there and find your new role!  

*This blog post was written in September 2021, so stats included here were accurate at the time of writing.

We hope this positive news has helped you to feel more motivated with your job search. If you’re currently looking for opportunities, we’ve got our Big Careers Fair coming up on Wednesday 20th October, 10am-4pm. This will be taking place on the Careers Fair Plus app and there will be over 50 organisations attending. They’ve all got opportunities and they’d love to chat with you! Find out more.

Written by Kareem Hameed, Careers and Placements