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Looking ahead: Q1 Job market hints at what’s to come

Lee Biggins, founder of CV-Library


Though January and February are often the recruitment sector’s busiest months, data from CV-Library reveals just how commanding 2016’s first quarter was. Reporting a 16.4% increase in applications, a 3.9% boost in advertised salaries and a 15.1% growth in job vacancies, it seems that 2016 got off to a flying start when compared with Q1 2015.


As potential political, economic and social fallout lies ahead, candidates scrambled to find, apply to, and secure new jobs during the first months of 2016. While the labour market is strong as a whole, and the economic uncertainty is yet to take its toll, it does raise questions about the forecast for Q2 and the rest of 2016.




Q1 reports a rise


The biggest spike in applications can be seen across the north of England and Scotland, as more of the nation’s professionals appear to favour positions outside of London. In addition, key industries saw an impressive spike in candidate applications. The biggest jump in applications in Q1 2016, compared with Q1 2015, can be seen in:


  1. Liverpool – 31.2%
  2. Hull – 29.1%
  3. Leeds – 28.1%
  4. Glasgow – 22.6%


  1. Distribution – 40.4%
  2. Construction – 38%
  3. Manufacturing – 32.3%



Q2 predictions: Applications will remain strong


The current instability within the industry could be set to continue, and if it doesn’t turn around, we can anticipate that applications will once again outpace job growth, leaving manufacturing job seekers in Q2 facing fierce competition for fewer jobs. Increased investment in the Northern Powerhouse means that candidate applications to northern jobs should continue throughout the year.




Q1 reports growth


In the run up to the National Living Wage coming into effect, national advertised salary data suggests that the nation’s businesses are attempting to drive up wages, as Q1 salary increases were seen across the UK’s key cities and sectors:

  1. Hull – 13.4%                                                                       1. Construction
  2.  Cardiff – 7.5%                                                                   2. Media – 17%
  3. Bristol – 7.1%                                                                     3. Automotive – 8.9%
  4. Leeds – 6.3%                                                                      4. Distribution – 4.9%

Q2 predictions: National Living Wage may drive salaries down

Though a rise in salaries in the retail sector (7.2%) and the hospitality sector (3.7%) were also seen, we can expect to see this taking a dip by the end of Q2, especially as the impacts of the National Living Wage become fully felt.



Q1 reports strong growth

Job growth can be seen predominantly in the north of the UK, with Liverpool’s job creation really flourishing throughout Q1; and as professionals in the education sector continue to be highly sought after, job growth in the industry increased by over one-third (35.3%). Here are Q1’s top growth cities and sectors:


  1. Liverpool – 34.8%
  2. Edinburgh – 25.4%
  3. Hull – 16.5%
  4. Manchester 16.1%
  1. Social care – 36.9%
  2. Education – 35.3%
  3. Distribution – 23.1%
  4. Construction – 20.9%



Q2 predictions: Hiring freeze ahead

While job vacancies also reported growth in Q1, it will be interesting to see what happens next quarter as the EU referendum comes to a head. A hiring freeze looks likely, and it’s also a possibility that salaries will be reduced too in an attempt to ensure stability; only time will tell! The end of Q2 will likely be the biggest giveaway for how the rest of the year will play out for the UK’s economy, but until then, economic uncertainty looks set to prevail.





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