PROCUREMENT HEADS BLOG

Vacancies exceed the number of unemployed according to new ONS data

New ONS data released this week shows that there are now more vacancies in the UK than people who are unemployed.

ITV’s Business and Economics Editor Joel Hills said, “This remarkable fact is in one sense cause for delight but the Bank of England worries the tightness of the labour market will drive pay and prices high still.”

Vacancies rose to a record 1,318,000 in December 2021 to February 2022

Here are the key points from the latest ONS data:

  • From December 2021 to February 2022 job vacancies rose to a new record of 1,318,000 – an increase of 105,000 from the previous quarter.
  • Half the industry sectors showed record highs.
  • The quarterly rate of growth fell to 8.7% in December 2021 to February 2022; the seventh consecutive fall since May to July 2021.
  • For every 100 employee jobs, the ratio of vacancies reached a new record high of 4.4 – the twelfth consecutive period of growth.
  • The ratio of unemployed people to every vacancy fell to a new record low of 1.0 in November 2021 to January 2022.
  • There were an estimated 35.2 workforce jobs in the UK in December 2021 – which remains 482,000 lower than December 2019, the number of workforce jobs has risen every quarter in 2021, helping to reduce the jobs deficit from pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.

Between December 2021 to February 2022, vacancies grew more slowly at 8.7%, down from 17.2% in the last quarter. Despite this, 72% of the industry groups showed increased vacancy numbers on the quarter.

Despite the rate of growth slowing in December 2021 to February 2022, most industries increased their number of vacancies

The headline vacancy estimates are based on three-month averages, which naturally involve some time lag. Insight into trends in February 2022 is provided by two experimental sources, single-month vacancy estimates (see Strengths and limitations), in Dataset x06, and Adzuna Online job advert estimates. Both sources showed increased vacancy numbers in February 2022.

How has procurement recruitment fared?

From December 2021 to February 2022, Procurement Heads saw exceptional demand from organisations across all of the sectors we specialise in recruiting within.

During this period, the team added 274 procurement and supply chain opportunities to our system.

Procurement roles that were in particular demand during this period included Procurement Manager (6% of the 274), Head of Procurement (6% of the 274) and Senior Buyer (7% of the 274) and Sourcing Manager (8% of the 274).

With the Industrial and Consumer sectors showing the highest demand.

Rupert Gaster, Founder and Director of Procurement Heads, said, “We have achieved our greatest ever quarter as a business, and the fact that there were so many procurement and supply chain opportunities during this period shows that the market is incredibly buoyant.

“There has been a continued demand for Senior Buyers and Procurement and Sourcing Managers – no doubt a direct result of the continued global supply chain issues, with Heads of Procurement also in high demand due to their business-critical strategic role.

“The Industrial and Consumer sectors have continued to be busy, likely a direct result of companies looking to reassess their supply chains and bring manufacturing closer to the UK as a result of Brexit.”


If your organisation is struggling to recruit a procurement or supply chain professional, on a permanent or interim basis, click here to start a conversation with the Procurement Heads team and hear how we can support your needs.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT
Rupert Gaster