Last year was undoubtedly a year marked by unprecedented global change. As well as President Trump's unexpected electoral win, last June's decision to leave the European Union was a major shock to the system at home, disrupting every aspect of our day-to-day lives. One area where this was expected to be felt the most was in the jobs market, with spectators almost unanimously anticipating that new employment would be increasingly scarce as business confidence in Britain would be undermined overnight.
Despite these somewhat gloomy predictions, as we pass the half-year mark since the referendum and its outcome, there does not appear to be a consensus on what comes next for UK employment. Without a doubt, a certain element of this is tied to ambiguity on exactly when Britain will leave the Union - a feeling that has been exacerbated by the government's constant prevarication on the matter. Nonetheless, the fact remains that even the most clued-up observer is uncertain on what the future looks like.
In contrast to what has been expected, data actually suggests that a number of industries are actually burgeoning when we look specifically at the frequency of job listings recorded. The manufacturing sector, which for a long time has been Britain's engine of economic growth, is one such industry. Data from our website shows that there has been an increase in job postings in the manufacturing sector throughout 2016 compared to previous years. Figures like this demonstrate that manufacturing remains an important sector of the modern British economy, and will reassure those who have lost sleep about the status of foreign industrial investment in the country post-Brexit.
In fact, the picture looks the same for a number of industries. IT, Sales and the Property and Construction industries are all typically hyper-competitive - and it had been expected that these would be the kinds of jobs that would be under pressure in the event that Brexit did occur. Despite this, these are the industries that we are seeing the most vacancies, indicating it is in these professions that there is an increased need for workers. At the same time, Science and Technology, Energy and Utilities, Military Policing and Security, and Banking and Insurance recorded the least amount of job postings, which may indicate less confidence in these industries with regards to job creation going forward. Certainly my advice to anyone looking for their next job this year would be to consider where the vacancies are, and not to be too put off in fluctuations in employment - the data suggests that Brexit hasn't been as disruptive as has been anticipated. Another marked trend is the increase of the non-permanent contract - the frequency of temporary jobs posted has remained consistently high despite concerns that Brexit would drive them down.
Where then does that leave us? Speculators should put down the crystal ball - the real impact of Brexit will depend on a wide range of policy choices yet to be made. Despite increased warnings about the potential risk involving an exit from the European Union, we have observed that it has been business as usual so far for the UK jobs market. I'll be aiming to update this blog regularly with the latest trends and direction of travel for the employment market in Britain. It would be great to hear your thoughts as we fare this new post-Brexit climate together and look onward to what 2017 will bring us.