Employment is forecast to grow in the UK during 2013, but the jobs market could become a battleground as increased numbers of job seekers battle for every available job.
That’s the message from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) latest Labour Market report, which claims that as many as 45 applicants are competing for every job, even for low-skilled positions.
The report, sponsored by Success Factors, records an increase in the net employment balance of four points, from +5 to +9 on the previous quarter. The balance measures the difference between the numbers of employers who expect to increase staff numbers against those cutting their staffing levels.
Perhaps most encouraging is the five point increase in the private sector balance, from +16 previously to +21 in the last quarter. However, it’s a much poorer picture for the public sector, where the net employment balance has fallen to -32, as a result of increased job losses in the sector.
Earlier this year the CIPD claimed the public sector had not yet felt the full impact of the recession, with as many as 350,000 public sector jobs under threat over the next five years. There is some concern that such levels of public sector job losses will cancel out the positive effects of growth in the private sector.
The CIPD survey results are consistent with anecdotal reports from employers who claim to have been inundated with applications when they advertise vacancies. While the number of applicants for the lowest skilled positions can be as many as 45, the average for medium-skilled roles is 29, with ten applicants for every highly-skilled vacancy advertised.
Gerwyn Davies, CIPD Labour Market Adviser, said: “With more than 40 applicants typically chasing every low-skilled job, there’s a danger that the stricter requirements being imposed by government on benefit recipients to look for work, coupled with the ongoing shift towards online recruitment, may lead to even more applicants for employers to consider for each vacancy in the future.”
But Mr Davies said employers should look to the positive aspects of so many job seekers in the market, claiming: “Employers should see it as an opportunity to draw on a wider pool of talent for their.”
CareerBalance is assisting more job seekers who are seeking professional help to improve their chances of securing interviews and receiving job offers.
The CIPD’s latest Labour Market report is available to download at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/survey-reports/labour-market-outlook-spring-2013.aspx