Fish4jobs’ study reveals Belfast is the UK’s only major city with year on year job market growth in Q3 2017

A recent study by Fish4jobs has revealed the latest Q3 job market figures across the UK. The findings have shown the contrasting fortunes of various cities and towns across the UK 15 months on from the Brexit referendum.

The overall outlook is bleak for the UK job market. There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of available jobs across the UK when comparing Q3 2016 to Q3 2017.

Newcastle has seen an 11% decrease in the number of available jobs in Q3 2017 than the previous year, which follows the job market trend of the majority of the UK’s major cities.

In the recent State of the City speech, Nick Forbes called for a Brexit deal that doesn’t undermine the economic growth in Newcastle.

Mr Forbes stated that the region “urgently needs assurances” that any Brexit deal does not come at the expense of the recent economic prosperity as average earnings rose by 6.3%, despite the shrinking job market.

The Newcastle IT firm Atlas Cloud has recently announced that it will be expanding its workforce in Newcastle following its move to larger offices. Chief Executive, Pete Watson, said of the move that, “The new workspace allows us room to grow in the North East region. We recognise that an inspiring working environment is important to our staff and our clients, as well as being close to the thriving city centre and all its amenities.”

Newcastle will be hoping that more firms follow suit with Atlas Cloud to deliver job market growth, and that negotiations around a Brexit deal do not negatively impact long-term prosperity.

Belfast is the only one of the UK’s top 20 largest cities that has seen a year on year increase in available jobs. The study shows that Belfast has 12.3% more available jobs up to Q3 in 2017 in comparison to 2016. Northern Ireland is currently dealing with the prospect of losing 1000s of jobs in East Belfast following the US’ decision to impose 219% trade levy on Bombardier.

There are 4,000 people employed at Bombardier’s plant in East Belfast, with whom 1,000 work on the construction of wings and fuselage for C-Series jets which are being sold to Delta.

Brexit supporters would have seen the US as close trade allies with the UK; whilst hoping trade ties would have become stronger as the UK began to negotiate leaving the EU. The Bombardier dispute which threatens 1,000s of jobs in Belfast is likely to sour the trade relations between the UK and US.

Reading, a city that voted to remain 15 months ago, has experienced a 24% decline in the number of available jobs since the referendum. The shrinking job market in the UK has had a profoundly negative impact in Reading, and it has led members of Reading and Wokingham Chamber Council outline their key policy for the next 12 to 18 months as fighting for a “business friendly” Brexit.

Andy Cowie, the president of the Chamber Council, has stated, “Securing a Brexit deal that places infrastructure and investment at the heart of any campaign is key to our long-term future.” The Chamber Council hopes to ensure Reading and Wokingham remain “attractive areas for investment for UK and foreign owned companies”; and latest news of a 24% decrease in available jobs for Q3 2017 will only further their cause.

London has experienced a 2.6% year on year decline in the number of available jobs up to Q3 in 2017. When compared to other major UK cities, the job market is shrinking at a slower rate; however, Sir Howard Davies, the Chairman of RBS, recently warned that Brexit would mean the considerable loss of jobs in the City of London. This is likely to continue to have a negative effect on the London job market into Q4 2017, and the beginning of 2018.

The job market is currently shrinking in the UK, and as the Brexit talks intensify over the next 6-12 months, the protection and growth of jobs in the UK will no doubt be a key priority for British negotiators and politicians.

The table below outlines the year on year difference between Q3 2016 and Q3 2017 across the UK’s largest 20 cities in terms of total available jobs.

The data from this study has been sourced from JMI, which has an 85% coverage of the job market in the UK.

Location Q3 Jobs Available YOY % Change
Belfast 12.29%
Glasgow -1.82%
Cambridge -1.96%
Coventry -2.42%
London -2.58%
Oxford -3.18%
Edinburgh -3.88%
Birmingham -4.02%
Southampton -5.14%
Cardiff -5.17%
Manchester -6.79%
Northampton -6.91%
Bristol -7.30%
Nottingham -8.29%
Liverpool -9.37%
Leicester -9.68%
Sheffield -9.72%
Newcastle upon Tyne -10.97%
Leeds -14.20%
Milton Keynes -15.32%
Reading -24.86%