Vacancies and jobs in the UK: June 2024

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

This is not the latest release. View latest release

Email Labour Market team

Release date:
11 June 2024

Next release:
18 July 2024

2. Main points

  • The estimated number of vacancies in March to May 2024 was 904,000, a decrease of 12,000 or 1.3% from December 2023 to February 2024.

  • Vacancy numbers decreased on the quarter for the 23rd consecutive period in March to May 2024, with vacancies decreasing in 9 of the 18 industry sectors.

  • In March to May 2024, total estimated vacancies were down by 156,000 (14.7%) from the level of a year ago, although they remained 108,000 (13.6%) above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic January to March 2020 levels.

  • In February to April 2024, the number of unemployed people per vacancy was 1.7, up from 1.5 the previous quarter (November 2023 to January 2024) because of falling vacancy numbers alongside rising unemployment.

  • In March 2024, the estimated number of workforce jobs was up by 431,000 (1.2%) from the level of a year ago, to 37.2 million, with human health and social work showing the largest increase, up by 228,000 (4.8%).

  • The total workforce jobs estimate rose in March 2024 by 297,000 or 0.8% on the quarter, with increases in both employee jobs and self-employment jobs.

Back to table of contents

3. Vacancies for March to May 2024

The series of quarterly decreases in vacancy numbers continued in March to May 2024, reducing for the 23rd consecutive period, and has seen the total number of vacancies decline by an estimated 400,000 since its peak in March to May 2022.

The headline vacancy estimates are based on three-month averages which naturally involve some time lag. Insights into trends in May 2024 are provided by two alternative data sources, single-month vacancy estimates from Dataset X06 (see Section 8: Strengths and limitations, and official statistics in development Adzuna Online job advert estimates. Please note that caution is advised when viewing these alternative data sources because the data are not seasonally adjusted or directly comparable.

The estimated total number of vacancies decreased by 1.3% from the previous quarter, with electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply contracting the most, declining by 11.8%.

In March to May 2024, the estimated number of vacancies decreased on the quarter by 12,000 to 904,000, with the largest decline in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, which was down by 10,000 vacancies.

When comparing March to May 2024 with the same time last year, total vacancies decreased by 156,000 (14.7%), with decreases in 16 of the 18 industry sectors. The industries that decreased the most were wholesale and retail trade: repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; and accommodation and food service activities, which were both down by an estimated 30,000 vacancies.

The total estimated number of vacancies remains 108,000 (13.6%) above its January to March 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level. The two industry sectors that have increased the most from their January to March 2020 levels are human health and social work activities and professional, scientific and technical activities, which were up by an estimated 26,000 and 22,000 vacancies, respectively. Four industry sectors decreased below pre-pandemic levels with a combined reduction of 28,000 vacancies, with wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles decreasing the most, down by an estimated 21,000 vacancies.

In February to April 2024, the number of unemployed people per vacancy was 1.7, up from 1.5 in November 2023 to January 2024 because of decreasing vacancy numbers alongside rising unemployment.

Growth varied across industry size bands on the quarter, with the three largest size bands declining while the smaller businesses increased. All size bands declined on the year, with the largest decrease of 17.9% for businesses with 2,500 or more employees.

Back to table of contents

4. Jobs for March 2024

Workforce jobs (WFJ) estimates are provided from various sources. Estimates of employee jobs in the private sector are taken from surveys relating to a reference date of 15 March 2024, whereas those of self-employment jobs are taken from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), which covers a three-month period from the start of February 2024 to April 2024. This is outlined in Section 7: Measuring the data.

From our February 2024 labour market release, LFS periods from July to September 2022 onwards have been reweighted to incorporate estimates of the size and composition of the UK population published in November 2023. The reweighting exercise created a discontinuity in total WFJ and self-employment jobs between June 2022 and September 2022 and users should take this discontinuity into consideration when looking at long-term movements in the series. Further information is available in our Impact of reweighting on Labour Force Survey key indicators article. These LFS estimates are official statistics in development.

This reweighting does not address the volatility seen in recent periods and this may be seen to some extent in the future. Therefore, we advise increased caution when interpreting short-term changes in the series.

An issue was detected in the weighting of the LFS for Northern Ireland in our March 2024 publication, for the November 2023 to January 2024 quarter only. While only Northern Ireland data were affected, we were not able to publish regional WFJ figures. This has now been corrected. The full regional dataset for December 2023 is now available and revisions to UK-totals for December 2023 accompanies this release.

Figure 4 shows estimates of workforce jobs for March 2024. In March 2024, UK workforce jobs increased to 37.2 million, which continues to be at historically high levels. This is a rise of 297,000 (0.8%) since December 2023, with increases in employee jobs and self-employment jobs of 123,000 (0.4%) and 183,000 (4.4%) respectively, alongside a combined decline in government-supported trainees and His Majesty's forces of 9,000 (4.3%). 

The large increase in workforce jobs is because employee jobs have risen every quarter since December 2020 and are now at 32.7 million. Growth in the self-employment component of workforce jobs has been less consistent over the same period but has shown a significant rise this quarter. Comparing with the equivalent period last year, workforce jobs are up by 431,000 (1.2%) with employee jobs up by 433,000 (1.3%), self-employment jobs up by 46,000 (1.1%) while government-supported trainees and HM Forces are showing a combined fall of 49,000 (21.7%).

A further insight into the employee jobs component of workforce jobs can be found in the number of employees on payroll reported in Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, seasonally adjusted dataset.

Annually, growth in the workforce jobs estimates has varied with 6 of the 20 industry sectors below March 2023 levels. Administrative and support service activities saw the largest decrease in job numbers, at 87,000 (2.8%). However, most industries displayed increases, with the largest rise from human health and social work, which was up 228,000 (4.8%).

On the quarter, the number of workforce jobs increased in 12 of the 20 industry sectors, contributing to an increase of 297,000 (0.8%) in the total workforce jobs estimate. The largest increases came from human health and social work activities, up by 97,000 (2.0%), and professional, scientific and technical activities, which was up by 84,000 (2.5%).

Back to table of contents

5. Vacancies and jobs data

Vacancies by industry
Dataset VACS02 | Released 11 June 2024
Estimates of vacancies by industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2007).

Workforce jobs summary
Dataset JOBS01 | Released 11 June 2024
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 11 June 2024
Estimates of jobs by industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2007).

Single month vacancies estimates (not designated as accredited official statistics)
Dataset X06 | Released 11 June 2024
Single month Vacancy Survey estimates, not seasonally adjusted.

Back to table of contents

6. Glossary


Positions for which employers are actively seeking recruits from outside their business or organisation are defined as vacancies. 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. 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 bulletins.

A more detailed glossaryis available.

Back to table of contents

7. Measuring the data

Important note

We have reintroduced the reweighted Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates into our workforce jobs estimates. The LFS estimates feed into workforce jobs through employee jobs, self-employment jobs and government supported trainees and have been reweighted for periods from September 2022. LFS headline seasonally adjusted series prior to this have also been revised based on the recent reweighted estimates. However, it has not been possible to incorporate these revisions into workforce jobs, so there is a discontinuity prior to September 2022. For more information, see ourImpact of reweighting on Labour Force Survey key indicators article.

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Read more about how labour market data sources are affected by the coronavirus pandemic in our Coronavirus and the effects on UK labour market statistics article.

For a comparison of our labour market data sources and the main differences, read our Comparison of labour market data sources 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 the Vacancy Survey, a survey of employers. We also publish Adzuna Online job advert estimates 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 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 (COVID-19) pandemic 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 (QMI) on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Vacancy Survey QMI and Workforce jobs QMI.

Sampling variability

The sampling variability of the three-month average vacancies level is 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.

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

For more information, see our Uncertainty and how we measure it for our surveys explainer.

Back to table of contents

8. Strengths and limitations

Information on 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

10. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 11 June 2024, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Vacancies and jobs in the UK: June 2024

Back to table of contents

Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Labour Market team
Telephone: +44 1633 455400