The local authorities with the largest number of online job adverts were predominantly urban areas, with Manchester recording the highest average volume of adverts in every January between 2017 and 2022; the single biggest category of jobs advertised in Manchester were in information technology (IT) across all years, except 2017 when the biggest category was sales.
Of the 10 local authorities with the smallest volume of online job adverts, which were mostly "urban" or "mixed urban/rural" areas, five were in Northern Ireland, one was in Wales, one was in Scotland and the remaining three were in England.
London saw the largest decline in online job adverts between January 2020 and January 2021, followed by the largest increase between January 2021 and January 2022, falling and then growing by 43% and 118%, respectively; of the nine local authorities who had not recovered since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, five were around London, such as Luton and North Hertfordshire.
Between January 2020 and January 2022, the North East saw the largest increase in the volume of online job adverts, growing by 89%, with all local authorities seeing an increase but particularly Newcastle upon Tyne and County Durham; regionally, the two main drivers of growth between January 2020 and January 2022 were IT and educational job adverts.
Online job advert trends in Scotland varied across local authorities, with urban areas typically seeing larger falls between January 2020 and January 2021, then growing more strongly between January 2021 and January 2022.
This is the first time the Office of National Statistics (ONS) are publishing these data. We are looking for user feedback that will help tailor future releases at this granular level of detail. Please fill in the survey.
This release provides experimental online job advert estimates for local authorities in the UK, produced using Adzuna data. The time period covered in the release is an average estimate of job adverts over the month of January, from 2017 to 2022. An interactive map is included in Section 3. The volume of online job adverts is represented in “units”. To create the unit measure, the number of adverts per local authority has been divided by a standard constant, with the same constant used for each local authority. Each unit represents a fixed number of job adverts so that users can track the trends of any local authority, while also being able to compare the relative size of each one.
Further information on the unit measure and how this release compares with data at ITL1 region as published in our weekly real-time indicators series can be found in the Data sources and quality section.
Volume of online job adverts in 2022
The volume represents the average units of online jobs adverts for the weeks within January. In January 2022, the local authority with the largest volume of job advert units was Manchester, which was 13% higher than the second-largest local authority, the City of London. The majority of jobs advertised in Manchester were in IT and these grew substantially between January 2017 and January 2022, whereas most other significant Adzuna categories such as sales, and accounting and finance saw a decline in advert postings. The Adzuna categories used do not correspond to Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories. Manchester also observed relatively high unemployment rates over the period, possibly implying that there is more labour market slack in Manchester.
Other predominantly urban areas made up the local authorities with the greatest volume of adverts, including Birmingham, Westminster, Bristol, Leeds, and Glasgow. Buckinghamshire was the only “urban with significant rural” local authority among the ten local authorities with the highest volume of adverts in January 2022.
Most local authorities with the lowest volume of adverts are within the devolved nations. In January 2022, five of the ten local authorities with the least adverts were in Northern Ireland, with one in Scotland, one in Wales and the remaining three in England. Economic activity also tends to be lower across the devolved nations, for example, the employment rate in Northern Ireland for November 2021 to January 2022 was 70.4%, compared with 75.9% in England over the same period.
Excluding Northern Ireland, the local authority with the lowest volume of adverts was Castle Point, which, although not classified as a major town or city, is a predominantly urban area. Other predominantly urban areas among the local authorities with the lowest volume of adverts included Broxtowe, Rossendale and Hartlepool. Hartlepool is also classified as a major town or city.Back to table of contents
Online job advert estimates by local authority and ITL1 Region
Dataset | Released 25 May 2022
Experimental job advert indices covering the UK job market split by local authority and ITL1 region.
The local authority districts (LAD) in the United Kingdom as of May 2021.
The international territorial levels, level 1 (ITL1) in the United Kingdom as of 1 January 2021.
A measure derived by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for representing the volume of online job adverts per local authority or ITL1 region, allowing users to evaluate the relative size of different local authorities. The unit measure is derived by dividing the average monthly count of job adverts by a set value. Further information on how this measure is derived can be found in the Data sources and quality section.
Urban or rural areas
For local authorities in England, the 2011 local authority rural urban classification has been used to describe areas using terms such as “predominantly urban”.
For local authorities in Scotland, the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2016 has been used to group areas with similar geographical distribution.Back to table of contents
Allocating local authorities to job adverts
To identify the local authority of the online job adverts we have used a combination of Adzuna’s classification, and the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) methodology.
The online job advert data held by Adzuna contain a free text location field, which is filled in by the company or individual creating the job advert directly. Adzuna standardise this field into a normalised list of locations. From this list, a hierarchical geographic tree is created, which maps low-level locations to their local authority and ITL1 Region. In most cases, these local authorities and ITL1 Region assignments have been used, but the ONS have implemented some additional steps.
There are some cases where the raw location provided are too high-level to map to a local authority, and so have been assigned to an “Unknown” category. For adverts with an “Unknown” local authority assignment, a further breakdown is provided of the “Unknown” category into ITL1 region where this information is available.
There are some cases where the normalised location could be assigned to different local authorities because of common place names. In this instance the highest-level location has been used to assign a local authority, for example, Leeds is both a local authority and a ward. The Leeds ward belongs to the Maidstone local authority. In this instance, any advert with a normalised location of Leeds will be assigned to the local authority Leeds.
There are some local authorities that have been excluded from this release because of quality concerns. This is predominantly because of:
a smaller number of adverts
increased volatility in the time-series
Presenting the data
We present the adverts split by region and local authority as a unit series, and calculate by:
calculating the number of live job adverts at a point in time for each week in January
summing up these weekly counts and dividing by the number of weeks in January to produce an average number of job adverts for the month
dividing the monthly average number of job adverts by a set value and creating a unit measure for each local authority, which represents a fixed number of job adverts so that users can track the trends of any local authority, while also being able to compare the relative size of each one
round the unit values to one decimal place
remove any local authorities excluded from the dataset because of quality concerns
Strengths and limitations
The data are extremely timely and can provide an early indication of how the trend of the number of live job adverts per local authority is changing in the UK.
The data cover the whole of the United Kingdom allowing granular geographic breakdowns including by local authority.
The data cover only job adverts which are posted online and some industries may be more or less likely to advertise in this way. For example, casual work may not be covered in the dataset
Online job adverts can include a location which is too high to assign to a local authority, for example, UK, Scotland or South West, meaning that for many regions a proportion of adverts are allocated to an Unknown local authority.
Duplication in the dataset can result in inflated numbers of job adverts and duplication levels may be increased for some local authorities.
Some job adverts may be live for a long period of time as they may not be removed immediately when the position is filled and, in a small number of cases, online vacancy boards may be used for purposes other than advertising job posts, for example, trainee programs or collecting CV or resume information for future recruitment; this means that the data may not fully reflect active recruitment.
More details on the general strengths and limitations of online job adverts data can be found in Using Adzuna data to derive an indicator of weekly vacancies.Back to table of contents
Gathering your feedback
This is the first time the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are publishing these data and as such, we are looking for user feedback on the release. This will help us to tailor future releases at this granular level of detail as well as inform on other breakdowns, which users would like to see.
Please fill in the survey, which should not take more than five minutes. All responses will remain confidential, and users will only be contacted if they indicate they are happy to be contacted in their response.
The ONS will continue to take on user feedback to develop and expand our online job advert estimates. In the coming months, the ONS aims to produce an experimental online job advert series by Standard Occupation Codes (SOC) at a sub-national level, to inform on local occupation demand.Back to table of contents
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