Job Market | Number of UK vacancies 'falls off a cliff' after timid winter hiring

Number of UK vacancies 'falls off a cliff' after timid winter hiring

The number of vacancies in the UK has “fallen off a cliff” according to the latest research from Morgan McKinley, which found 2018 closed with the fewest jobs available since 2011.

Researchers found that a lacklustre year for City jobs and jobseekers closed with a 52% decrease in jobs available, month-on-month, and a 39% decrease year-on-year.

“In 2018 we saw job numbers fall off a cliff”, said Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UK.

He added that the outlook for jobseekers was only mildly less grim, with those seeking new opportunities down by 40% month-on-month and by 29% year-on-year. “We haven’t seen this few applicants to market in December since 2012.”

He attributes the reduction in the number of vacancies to the Christmas holidays and the ongoing political uncertainty surrounding Brexit. “We’ve seen January get off to a sluggish start on this front,” he added. “After over two years of navigating the impossible task of preparing for an unknown Brexit scenario, people are fatigued.”

The report highlights that recruitment has been particularly poor in London – describing the hiring environment in the Square Mile as “timid”.

“There was a sense over the summer that the tables might be turning, as candidates demonstrated increased confidence in the jobs market”, said Enver.

“But the weight of Brexit proved too much to just shake off, given its immense implications for individual livelihoods and business viability”.

Most frighteningly of all, the report warned that the ever-present fear of a disorderly Brexit has many worried that 2019 will be the tipping point for the economy. The Bank of England’s forecast for a worst-case scenario Brexit is an eight per cent economic slump.

“For two years everyone’s been screaming from the rooftops that we need clarity about the terms of Brexit in order to succeed economically, to no avail. So now it’s time to assume the brace position and hope we survive the impact of what’s coming,” said Enver.

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