The Job Market At The End Of The Year

It’s been a turbulent year with the prospect of a lot more uncertainty to come in 2012, particularly for those hoping to establish themselves in the job market. Here are some thoughts in case you have a crisis of career confidence over the Christmas and New Year break.

Current job market
Unfortunately, this year I can’t do my Christmas vacancy round up chart showing how vacancies sent to the Careers Service have changed over the years. We’ve changed our database, and can’t be sure we’re comparing like with like for previous years (on the upside, we think we’ve got more accurate figures now).

However, here are a few stats:

  • In November 2011, we carried  415 job ads for full-time vacancies – this compares to 316 for November 2010 (the first month we had data from our new database)
  • I don’t have the full December figures yet, but in a spot check this week, we had over 350 active, full-time job ads on CareersLink. (Last year’s figures were 201, though that was on our old database.)
  • Over 80 full-time job ads were added in the last week. Who says no-one advertises at Christmas? What’s more, a fair number of these new job ads had early January closing dates, so don’t delay “getting round to” applying for these jobs – mid January may be too late.

To be honest, that’s a better picture than I expected. I’m normally pretty bullish about the real state of the graduate job market, bolstered by knowing how many jobs we get sent, which has often been at odds with the media picture of “no graduate jobs this year”. I admit I feel much more nervous than in previous years about the future job market, but maybe it’s just the “hell-in-a-handcart” hype which has finally worn me down – here’s hoping!

Take a chance on different jobs?
One more worrying phenomenon we’ve spotted is the number of good jobs which we’ve advertised which have attracted few views, never mind applications. In November, there were almost 35,000 views of vacancies on CareersLink – but they’re not evenly spread. Cast your net a bit wider in the kind of posts you’re prepared to look at and you may find some plum jobs there for the taking.