The number of vacancies in April to June 2023 was 1,034,000, a decrease of 85,000 from January to March 2023.
Vacancy numbers fell on the quarter for the 12th consecutive period in April to June 2023, down by 7.6% since January to March 2023, with vacancies falling in every quarter of the last year.
In April to June 2023, total vacancies were down by 265,000 from the level of a year ago, although they remained 232,000 above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) January to March 2020 levels.
In March to May 2023, the number of unemployed people per vacancy was 1.3, up from 1.1 the previous quarter (December 2022 to February 2023) as the number of vacancies fell while unemployment rose.
In April to June 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 85,000 on the quarter to 1,034,000, the 12th consecutive period to see a quarterly fall since May to July 2022. The number of vacancies has now been falling for a full year, with this being the longest sustained fall in vacancies since 2008 to 2009.
The headline vacancy estimates are based on three-month averages which naturally involve some time lag. Insights into trends in June 2023 are provided by two experimental sources, our single-month vacancy estimates (see the Strengths and limitations section of our Vacancies and jobs in the UK: March 2021 bulletin), in Dataset X06, and our Adzuna Online job advert estimates dataset.
In April to June 2023, the number of vacancies fell by 7.6% from the previous quarter, with decreases in 13 of the 18 industry sectors. The industries showing the largest falls were financial and insurance activities and information and communication, which fell by 15.3% and 13.4%, respectively. Some sectors also saw relatively strong growth, with real estate activities and mining and quarrying growing by 24.8% and 20.0%, respectively.
April to June 2023 saw the number of vacancies fall on the quarter for the 12th consecutive period, decreasing by 85,000. The industry sectors displaying the largest falls in vacancy numbers were accommodation and food service activities and human health and social work activities, down on the quarter by 15,000 and 14,000, respectively. The industries which saw the largest growth on the quarter were real estate activities and other service activities, each growing by 3,000.
When comparing April to June 2023 with the same time last year, total vacancies decreased by 265,000 (20.4%), with the largest falls in accommodation and food service activities and information and communication, which were down by 46,000 and 33,000, respectively. However, despite persistent falls in the number of vacancies over the last year, the total number of vacancies remain 232,000 above January to March 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels, with human health and social work activities showing the largest increase, at 51,000.
In March to May 2023, the number of unemployed people per vacancy was at 1.3, up from 1.1 in the previous quarter. While this ratio remains low by historical standards, this quarterly increase suggests a slight easing of recent tightness in the labour market, following consecutive falls in vacancy numbers and increases in the number of unemployed people.
In April to June 2023, every business size band saw a fall in the number of vacancies when compared with the previous quarter.Back to table of contents
Our estimated number of workforce jobs for March 2023 (next updated September 2023) was a record high of 36.8 million, an increase of 395,000 jobs since December 2022 and an increase of 1.2 million since December 2019.
The total number of jobs includes both employee jobs and self-employment jobs, with both components increasing in the quarter to March 2023. Employee jobs in March 2023 were at a record high of 32.4 million, 1.6 million above their December 2019 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level. However, this rate of growth has not been seen in the self-employment jobs, which remain 454,000 below December 2019 levels. The growth in the employee jobs component of workforce jobs up to March 2023 can also be seen in the number of pay-rolled employees reported in our Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, seasonally adjusted dataset, which had increased every month since February 2021.
Across industries the recovery has varied, with 9 of the 20 the sectors still below their pre-pandemic levels in March 2023. Sectors including wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, and construction saw a large number of job losses. This has been offset by large gains in human health and social work, professional, scientific and technical activities, and transport and storage.Back to table of contents
Vacancies by industry
Dataset VACS02 | Released 11 July 2023
Estimates of vacancies by industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2007).
Workforce jobs summary
Dataset JOBS01 | Released 13 June 2023
Estimates of jobs by type of job (including employee jobs, self-employment jobs, HM Forces and government-supported trainees).
Workforce jobs by industry
Dataset JOBS02 | Released 13 June 2023
Estimates of jobs by industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2007).
X06:Single month vacancies estimates (not designated as National Statistics)
Dataset X06 | Released 11 July 2023
Single Month Vacancy Survey estimates, not seasonally adjusted
Positions for which employers are actively seeking recruits from outside their business or organization are defined as vacancies in our Guide to labour market statistics. 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).
An activity performed for an employer or customer by a worker in exchange for payment, usually in cash, or in kind, or both, is defined as a job in our Guide to labour market statistics. 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 HM 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.Back to table of contents
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 with 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 us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how labour market data sources are affected by the coronavirus pandemic, see our Coronavirus and the effects on UK labour market statistics article published on 6 May 2020, which details some of the challenges that we have faced in producing estimates at this time.
Our Comparison of labour market data sources methodology, published on 11 December 2020, discusses some of the main differences between our labour market data sources.
Workforce Jobs estimates include data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). From the 15 July 2021, an improved LFS weighting methodology, better accounting for population changes through the coronavirus pandemic was implemented, affecting periods from January to March 2020 onwards. For more information on the changes to LFS weighting methodology through the pandemic, please see our article on the LFS Survey weighting methodology.
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 our Vacancy Survey, a survey of employers. We also publish Adzuna Online job advert estimates datasets 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 Surveys (QPSES) and our Labour Force Survey (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 our 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 Vacancies and jobs in the UK: April 2021 bulletin.
More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Vacancy Survey Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) and Workforce jobs QMI.
The sampling variability of the three-month average vacancies level is around plus or minus 1.3% of that level expressed as a coefficient of variation, giving a 95% confidence interval for estimates of approximately plus or minus 32,000. For more information, see our Uncertainty and how we measure it for our surveys methodology.
The sampling variability of the three-month average vacancies level for a typical industrial sector is around plus or minus 6% of that level.
|SIC 2007 Section||United Kingdom|
|Estimate for Mar|
|Sampling variability of |
estimate [note 1]
|A||Agriculture, forestry |
|B||Mining & quarrying||56||±4|
|D||Electricity, gas, steam & |
air conditioning supply
|E||Water supply, sewerage, waste |
& remediation activities
|G||Wholesale & retail trade; repair |
of motor vehicles and
|H||Transport & storage||1,954||±50|
|I||Accommodation & food |
|J||Information & communication||1,704||±50|
|K||Financial & insurance |
|L||Real estate activities||699||±41|
|M||Professional scientific & |
|N||Administrative & support |
|O||Public admin & defence; |
compulsory social security
|Q||Human health & social |
|R||Arts, entertainment & recreation||1,010||±47|
|S/T||Other service activities/Private |
Download this table Table 1: Sampling variability for estimates of jobs in the UK, thousands.xls .csv
Information of the strengths and limitations of this bulletin are available in our Vacancies and jobs in the UK: April 2021 bulletin.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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