Vacancies and jobs in the UK: July 2022

Estimates of the number of vacancies and jobs for the UK.

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Release date:
19 July 2022

Next release:
16 August 2022

2. Main points

  • The number of job vacancies in April to June 2022 was 1,294,000; this was a small increase of 6,900 from the previous quarter and an increase of 498,400 from before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in January to March 2020.

  • In April to June 2022 the quarterly rate of growth continued to slow down, falling for the 11th consecutive period to 0.5%.

  • In April to June 2022, accommodation and food service activities showed the largest increase in vacancies, but this was offset by falls in other industry sectors, most notably wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.

  • In March to May 2022, the ratio of unemployed people per vacancy remained at 1.0 for the fourth consecutive period, with the number of vacancies slightly higher than the number of unemployed people.

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3. Vacancies for April to June 2022

In April to June 2022, quarterly vacancy growth fell to 0.5% from 4.0% in the last quarter. Despite the quarterly growth rate decreasing for 11 consecutive periods, it remains positive and shows the most sustained period of positive growth since the end of 2015. However, the total number of vacancies for April to June 2022 is not a record high, despite the growth from the previous quarter (January to March 2022), because the total number of vacancies in March to May 2022 was higher.

The headline vacancy estimates are based on three-month averages, which naturally involve some time lag. Insights into trends in June 2022 are provided by two experimental sources (see Strengths and limitations). These are the single-month vacancy estimates in our X06 single month vacancies estimates dataset, and Adzuna online job advert estimates dataset. Notably, the single-month estimates in our X06 dataset fell for the second consecutive month in June 2022.

Quarterly growth varied across industry sectors; the industry displaying the highest rate of growth was electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply at 16%, while the lowest was other service activities at negative 6.7%.

In April to June 2022, vacancies increased by 6,900, which is the smallest quarterly increase since June to August 2020. Accommodation and food service activities showed the largest increase at 10,200 vacancies. However, any such gains were offset by falls in other industry sectors, particularly wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, which fell by 7,200.

In April to June 2022, the total number of vacancies was 498,400 (62.6%) above the January to March 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level, with the largest increase in accommodation and food service activities up 91,000 (107.1%). Total vacancies rose by 429,500 (49.7%) from the same time last year, with the same industry sector showing the largest growth of 68,700 (64.0%).

The number of unemployed people to every vacancy remained at a record low of 1.0 in March to May 2022, with the number of unemployed people falling just below the number of vacancies for only the second time in its history.

In April to June 2022, the rate of quarterly growth varied across company size bands, with those businesses of less than 50 employees showing a decrease in their number of vacancies, while larger ones continued to grow.

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4. Jobs, vacancies and wider labour market measures

Our estimated number of Workforce jobs for March 2022 (next updated September 2022) was 35.6 million. While this represents a record increase of nearly 412,000 from December 2021, there remains a deficit of 57,000 jobs from a pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic month of December 2019.

Notably, the quarterly rate of growth in workforce jobs increased to 1.2% in March 2022 and is the highest we have seen for 10 years.

The total number of jobs includes both employee jobs and self-employment jobs, with both rising in the quarter to March 2022. Employee jobs in March 2022 grew to a record high of 31.3 million, 521,000 above its December 2019 pre-coronavirus level. However, this rate of growth was not reflected in the self-employment jobs, which remained 600,000 below December 2019 levels. The growth in the employee jobs component of workforce jobs can also be seen in the number of employees on payroll reported in our Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, seasonally adjusted dataset.

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5. Vacancies and jobs data

Vacancies by industry
Dataset VACS02 | Released 19 July 2022
Estimates of vacancies by industry (Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2007).

Workforce jobs summary
Dataset JOBS01 | Released 14 June 2022
Estimates of jobs by type of job (including employee jobs, self-employment jobs, Her Majesty's (HM) Armed Forces and government-supported trainees).

Workforce jobs by industry
Dataset JOBS02 | Released 14 June 2022
Estimates of jobs by industry (SIC 2007).

X06:Single month vacancies estimates (not designated as National Statistics)
Dataset X06 | Released 19 July 2022
Single Month Vacancy Survey estimates, not seasonally adjusted

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6. Glossary


Vacancies are defined as positions for which employers are actively seeking recruits from outside their business or organisation. The estimates are based on the Vacancy Survey; this is a survey of employers designed to provide estimates of the stock of vacancies across the economy, excluding agriculture, forestry and fishing (a small sector for which the collection of estimates would not be practical).


A job is an activity performed for an employer or customer by a worker in exchange for payment, usually in cash, or in kind, or both. The number of jobs is not the same as the number of people in employment. This is because a person can have more than one job. The number of jobs is the sum of employee jobs from employer surveys, self-employment jobs from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), those in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces and government-supported trainees. The number of people in employment is measured by the LFS; these estimates are available in our Employment in the UK bulletin.

A more detailed glossary is available.

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7. Measuring the data

Recent Changes

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates published on 14 June 2022 have been reweighted for periods from January to March 2020, using updated Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data. The non-response bias adjustment, previously implemented for England, Wales and Scotland data, has now also been applied to Northern Ireland data. Our Impact of reweighting on Labour Force Survey key indicators: 2022 article explains the impact and gives a more detailed reweighting timeline.

The Workforce Job estimates, which include some data from LFS, published on 14 June 2022 are based on previous weights. Workforce Jobs estimates will be revised on 13 September 2022.

Making our published spreadsheets accessible

Following the Government Statistical Service (GSS) guidance on releasing statistics in spreadsheets, we will be amending our published tables over the coming months to improve usability, accessibility and machine readability of our published statistics. To help users change to the new formats, we will be publishing sample versions of a selection of our tables, and where practical, initially publish the tables in both the new and current formats.

If you have any questions or comments, please email


For more information on how labour market data sources are affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, see our Coronavirus and the effects on UK labour market statistics article. This details some of the challenges that we have faced in producing estimates at this time.

Our Comparison of labour market data sources article, published 11 December 2020, compares our labour market data sources and discusses some of the main differences.

Workforce Jobs estimates include data from the LFS. From 15 July 2021 an improved LFS weighting methodology (better accounting for population changes through the COVID-19 pandemic) was implemented, affecting periods from January to March 2020 onwards. For more information on the changes to the LFS weighting methodology through the pandemic, please see our LFS Survey weighting methodology article.


The data in this bulletin come from surveys of businesses. It is not feasible to survey every business in the UK, so these statistics are estimates based on samples, not precise figures.


Estimates of vacancies are obtained from the Vacancy Survey, a survey of employers. Our Adzuna online job advert estimates are also published as part of our Economic activity and social change in the UK, real-time indicators bulletin.


Estimates of jobs are compiled from a number of sources, including Short-Term Employment Surveys (STES), the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES) and the LFS. STES is a group of surveys that collect employment and turnover information from private sector businesses. In December of each year, the jobs estimates are "benchmarked" to the latest estimates from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES).

The STES estimates are drawn for a specified date early in the last month of each calendar quarter. The March 2020 data were from 13 March 2020 before the start of coronavirus social distancing measures.

For more information on how jobs data are measured, please see the Measuring the Data section in our previous Vacancy and jobs bulletin.

More quality and methodology information (QMI) on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Vacancy Survey QMI and our Workforce jobs QMI.

Sampling variability

The sampling variability of the three-month average vacancies level is around plus or minus 1.5% of that level expressed as a coefficient of variation, giving a 95% confidence interval for estimates of approximately plus or minus 20,000.

The sampling variability of the three-month average vacancies level for a typical industrial sector is around plus or minus 6% of that level.

Occupational data in ONS surveys

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has identified an issue with the collection of some occupational data in a number of our surveys, including the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS), which are used in the production of the Labour Market publication. While we estimate any impacts will be small overall, this will affect the accuracy of the breakdowns of some detailed (4-digit Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)) occupations, and data derived from them. Although the majority are unaffected, we are urging caution in the interpretation of these detailed data as we resolve the issue.

None of our headline statistics, other than those directly sourced from occupational data, are affected and you can continue to rely on their accuracy. This issue does not affect Census 2021 or the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey in any way. For more information , see our statement on occupational data in ONS social surveys.

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8. Strengths and limitations

Information on the strengths and limitations of this bulletin are available in our previous bulletin.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Tom Evans
Telephone: +44 1633 651833