Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
16 November 2021

How UK job vacancies have reached a record high

The number of job vacancies has reached 1.2 million due to post-Brexit labour shortages and the post-Covid reopening.

The UK jobs market is booming, recording the highest ever number of vacancies due to a combination of post-Brexit labour shortages and the reopening of the economy following the end of Covid-19 restrictions.

The number of job vacancies rose to a record 1,172,000 in August to October 2021, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. But the latest numbers also show unemployment falling back to pre-Covid levels. There were only 1.3 unemployed people per vacancy in July-September: another record low, meaning the jobs market is at its tightest in decades.


The construction industry saw the largest growth rate in vacancies compared with the last quarter (41.1 per cent) followed by transport and storage (40.4 per cent).

However, it is the UK’s social care industry that has the highest vacancy figures, with more than 183,000 vacancies – up from 175,000 in the previous quarter. There were 151,000 vacancies in hospitality, with two in five accommodation and food businesses reporting staff shortages. Separate figures show that 41 per cent of businesses with more than ten employees reported jobs were more difficult to fill compared to normal for this time of year – especially in hospitality, transport and storage, and manufacturing. 

The major reasons cited were a lack of qualified applicants, inability to afford an attractive pay package, and a reduced number of EU applicants.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
<strong>What you need to know about private markets </strong>
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

Topics in this article :