Resilient Job Market: January Signals a Strong Start to the Year

Resilient Job Market: January Signals a Strong Start to the Year


The job market is often considered a turbulent place, however, the latest data suggests that the UK is off to a strong start in 2023. According to a report released by the REC, 180,000 new job adverts were posted in the first week of January, signalling a robust job market showing signs of resilience despite the ongoing economic difficulty.

This is a positive sign for job seekers, as well as for businesses and the economy as a whole. But what does this strong start to the year mean for the job market and the workforce?

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the data and explore what it means for the job market in 2023.


The Data

Latest findings from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and Lightcast’s Labour Market Tracker have revealed a 134% increase in the number of new adverts compared to the week before, and a rise of 24.5% compared to the same period in 2022. In total there were 1.53 million active job postings in the week beginning 2 January, an increase of 1.5%.

Additional findings showcased the largest increase in new job postings between the final week of 2022 and the first week of January was for taxi, cab drivers and chauffeurs (+15.2%), followed by road construction operatives (+14.5%) and police officers (+14.1%). Conversely, ship and hovercraft officers saw the biggest weekly drop in job postings (-9.6%), while water and sewage plant operatives (-8.1%).


What Does This Mean?

Despite the number of job postings rising, the government needs to continue to tackle labour shortages in other areas with developments across welfare support and skills as many organisations still need to hire. By the same token, recruiters and hiring managers will need to work harder than before to get their hiring right to keep up with demand in 2023. 

This means leaders will need to be less concerned about short-term goals and look for a plan that prepares them for long-term success by focusing on how they’ll invest in their team and close the growing skills gap.

Finally, in response to escalating job postings, organisations will also need to consider changes to the national living wage as they continue to attract new candidates. The national living wage rate in April 2023 will reach £10.42, up 9.7% on the rate of £9.50 and is forecast to reach £11.08 an hour in 2024, which is expected to be two-thirds of median earnings. This has evolved in response to changing economic circumstances, including higher inflation post-pandemic and the tight labour market.


In conclusion, the data indicating 180,000 new job adverts posted in the first week of January is a positive sign for the UK job market and economy. It suggests that despite the ongoing challenges posed by the current UK economy, businesses are still hiring and looking to expand their workforce. This is good news for job seekers as it means there are more opportunities available, however, employers must continue to monitor the situation and adapt accordingly.