2019 has been a year of real uncertainty, and many industries have suffered. Leading job search engine, Adzuna.co.uk, has analysed vacancy data from the past year to reveal which industries have been hit hardest this year, and the ones that have flourished. 

Despite 2019 being a challenging year for UK businesses, the data points towards positive growth in many sectors. Sales vacancies have seen considerable growth (38%), followed by IT and Technology (29%).

Increased vacancies in the travel industry may have been unexpected, after 2019 saw the collapse of travel giant Thomas Cook, with 21,000 employees losing their jobs. However, UK spending on leisure has remained strong and Brexit has continued to boost domestic tourism, which has allowed this sector to thrive in spite of market turbulence. 

Healthcare and nursing vacancies have also increased by 28% compared to the same period in 2018. However, this boost in the number of live vacancies could spark worry for the NHS, with 948,936 unfilled positions. With nursing taking centre stage in the Conservative election campaign, and the government’s new plans to reinstate nursing bursaries, it’s anticipated that this sector will see major changes in 2020. 

Retail continued to suffer after losing 13% of vacancies year-on-year. In the first half of 2019, for every four stores opening, an estimated 16 closed. The struggle on the high street certainly looks to continue in 2020, with analysis from PwC showing a record 2,868 store closures in the past year – the highest level in five years. 

In manufacturing, giants such as Dyson and Ford announcing their plans to move production overseas ahead of Brexit have contributed to a significant drop in vacancies. What’s more, companies such as British Steel have already faced liquidation, and Airbus has warned it could be forced to shut down its UK plants, which currently employ 14,000 people. Again, the government’s focus on plugging the skills gap here will be key in 2020 and the industry will likely see a big recruitment drive as companies aim to attract new talent.

Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna comments “This year has been one of real uncertainty, which we can see highlighted in the number of industries cutting their job vacancies as employers hold back on hiring plans, and some industries move overseas to minimise the impact of Brexit. 

“Although the decline in vacancies may also be associated with other factors such as automation, it is clear to see Brexit and the late general election has impacted the job market. While it is likely we will see this trend continue into the new year, there are certainly many reasons to remain optimistic for 2020. With a more stable political climate and the Brexit date on the horizon, we are hopeful the job market will begin to stabilise early in the new year.” 

For more information please visit: https://www.adzuna.co.uk/blog/adzuna-job-market-report-december-2019/