UK Job Market News

March, 2022

“Securing a UK job before you depart is fast becoming the post-covid norm, as the flow of Aussies and Kiwis to the UK recovers from the pandemic.”

Driven by an increased demand for skills, and the greatly reduced supply of Aussies and Kiwis in the UK, most people we are helping receive multiple jobs offers before they depart.

Increasing contract rates and durations

In the contract market which covers both agency contract and fixed term contract roles with employers, average daily contract rates have increased by 20% from £300 per day pre-covid to £360 per day. We are seeing a lot more roles paying £400 plus per day.

Reflecting the increased number of fixed term contracts which tend to be for a longer duration, the average contract duration has also increased from 25 weeks pre-covid to 31 weeks.

On the permanent job front, permanent roles for new arrivals are typically in the range from £60k to £70k plus benefits such as pension contributions, bonuses, health care, etc. Obviously, benefits vary greatly from role to role, employer to employer and industry to industry.

Change in role preferences

The mix of role types is also changing significantly, perhaps reflecting people being more career focused, and contract roles being of a much longer duration.

Pre-covid, 90% to 95% of people worked in agency contract roles. That hadn’t changed much in 20 years. However, over the past 6 months, that mix has shifted to 50% contract, 30% fixed term contracts and 20% permanent roles.

As people start heading to the UK again, confident in the knowledge that they will quickly be working when they arrive in London, it is noticeable the number of Aussies and Kiwis planning to throw off the shackles of covid lockdowns and enjoy the freedom to travel for a couple of months enroute to a job in London.

It’s a bit like a return of the Big OE. Happy days 😊

Interested? Let us help you make the move. We’ll get you a job before you go.

Latest migration figures

Aussies and Kiwis are starting to travel to the United Kingdom again. 

Latest UK migration figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show 4,473 Aussies and Kiwis went to the United Kingdom to work in 2021; a decrease of 18% from 5,454 in the previous year, and 74% from the pre-covid figure of 16,955 in 2019. While year-on-year figures show a continual decline, the tide is starting to turn.

In the final quarter of 2021 (Q4 21), there were 1,850 work visas issued to Aussies and Kiwis. This represents an increase of 83% from the same period in 2020, but still a decrease of 1,659 (47%) from the pre-covid figure of 3,509 visas issued in Q4 19.

It is likely that a turning point in the flow of Aussies and Kiwis travelling to and from the United Kingdom will not be reached until the second quarter of 2022. At that point, for the first time in 2 years, the number of UK work visas issued to Aussies and Kiwis heading to London will out-number expiring visas of those already there.

Job market headlines

Here’s a quick snapshot of the market in Q1 2022.

Business confidence

Early signs of recovery in employer confidence in the January 2022 rolling quarter as business confidence in the UK economy rose by 6% from the previous rolling quarter. Jobs Outlook – Early signs of recovery in employer confidence as Omicron recedes – REC, Feb 22

Job vacancies at record levels

Vacancies rose to a new record of 1.3 million in latest rolling quarter, an increase of 500k from its pre-covid levels. Vacancies and jobs in the UK – ONS, Feb 22

Salaries Increasing

Robust demand for workers and scarce candidate supply led to further marked upward pressure on starting pay rates. Starting salaries continue to rise at near-record pace amid sharper drop in candidate supply. Report on Jobs – Starting salaries continue to rise at near-record pace – REC, Feb 22

Travel and lifestyle

Travel to the UK getting easier

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and London’s Heathrow Airport are dropping their mask mandates after the UK announced it will remove remaining travel restrictions in the coming days. British Airlines to drop mask mandates – Stuff, Mar 22

UK Covid restrictions lifted

All government-mandated covid restrictions have ended in England, including the legal requirement for people who test positive for covid-19 to isolate at home. England ends all covid restrictions, including isolation laws – ABC News, Feb 22

European travel restrictions also easing

European countries are also continuing to relax travel restrictions implemented to control the spread of Covid. Travel restriction list for every European country –, Mar 22