The number of job vacancies in July to September 2022 was 1,246,000, a decrease of 46,000 from April to June 2022.
Vacancies fell by 3.6% in July to September 2022 and is the third consecutive quarterly fall.
In July to September 2022 vacancies were 450,000 (56.6%) above the January to March 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) level, and nearly 117,000 (10.3%) above the level of a year ago.
In June to August 2022, the number of unemployed people per vacancy fell to a record low of 0.9 despite the number of vacancies falling on the quarter for the third consecutive period.
In July to September 2022, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 46,000 on the quarter to 1,246,000, and are at their lowest since October to December 2021
The headline vacancy estimates are based on three-month averages which naturally involve some time lag. Insights into trends in September 2022 are provided by two experimental sources, single-month vacancy estimates (see Strengths and limitations), in Dataset x06, and Adzuna Online job advert estimates. Both the single month vacancy estimates and the online job advert estimates have fallen in September 2022.
The rate of quarterly growth fell to negative 3.6% in July to September 2022, with growth falling in 13 of the 18 industry sectors. Information and communication and other service activities fell at the fastest rate, at negative 16.6% and 16.0%, respectively.
In July to September 2022, the 46,000 decrease in the number of vacancies was the largest fall on the quarter seen since June to August 2020. The industry sectors displaying the largest falls in vacancy numbers were accommodation and food service activities, down 15,000, and information and communication, down 13,000 on the quarter. Human health and social work had the largest increase in vacancies, up by 5,000 on the quarter.
The recent fall in the number of vacancies has coincided with an increasing number of respondents reporting lower levels of recruitment because of a variety of economic pressures.
In July to September 2022 the total number of vacancies was 450,000 (56.6%) above the January to March 2020 pre-pandemic level, with the largest increase in human health and social work which was up 81,000. When comparing with the same time last year, total vacancies rose by 117,000 (10.3%) with human health and social work again showing the largest growth of 38,000 (21.3%).
The number of vacancies remain high after a prolonged period of positive growth from July to September 2020 to April to June 2022. Despite the market contracting recently, the large number of vacancies combined with low levels of unemployment contribute to an historically tight labour market. Notably, in June to August 2022 the number of unemployed people per vacancy fell to a new record low of 0.9.
For the second consecutive period there was no quarterly growth in any industry size band.Back to table of contents
Our latest estimated number of workforce jobs for June 2022 (next updated December 2022) was a record high of 35.8 million, an increase of 171,000 jobs from December 2019, and the first time it has exceeded pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.
The total number of jobs includes both employee jobs and self-employment jobs, with both rising in the quarter to June 2022. Employee jobs in June 2022 continued to grow and are now at a record high of nearly 31.5 million, 710,000 above their December 2019 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) level. However, this rate of growth has not been seen in the self-employment jobs which remain 548,000 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 the Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, seasonally adjusted dataset.
Across industries the recovery has varied, with half of the sectors still below their pre-pandemic levels in June 2022. Those industries that remain well below pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) levels, such as wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicle and motorcycles, and other service activities, have seen their job losses offset by large increases in administrative and support activities, and human health and social work.Back to table of contents
Vacancies by industry
Dataset VACS02 | Released 11 October 2022
Estimates of vacancies by industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2007).
Workforce jobs summary
Dataset JOBS01 | Released 13 September 2022
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 September 2022
Estimates of jobs by industry (Standard Industrial Classification 2007).
X06:Single month vacancies estimates (not designated as National Statistics)
Dataset X06 | Released 11 October 2022
Single Month Vacancy Survey estimates, not seasonally adjusted.
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 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 release.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how labour market data sources are affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, see the article published on 6 May 2020, which details some of the challenges that we have faced in producing estimates at this time.
An article, published on 11 December 2020, compares our labour market data sources and discusses some of the main differences.
Workforce Jobs estimates include data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). From the 15th 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 the Vacancy Survey, a survey of employers. Adzuna Online job advert estimate are also published as part of the Economic activity and social change in the UK, real-time indicators - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk) release.
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 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 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) social distancing measures.
For more information on how jobs data are measured, please see the Measuring the Data section in our previous release.
The sampling variability of the three-month average vacancies level is around above or below 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 above or below 6% of that level.
|SIC 2007 Section
|Estimate for Jun 2022
|Sampling variability of estimate
|Mining & quarrying
|Electricity, gas, steam &
air conditioning supply
|Water supply, sewerage, waste
& remediation activities
|Wholesale & retail trade; repair
of motor vehicles and motorcycles
|Transport & storage
|Accommodation & food
|Information & communication
|Financial & insurance
|Real estate activities
|Professional scientific &
|Administrative & support
|Public admin & defence;
compulsory social security
|Human health & social
|Arts, entertainment & recreation
|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 previous release.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 1633 651833