Dorset labour market & Skills insights - Quarter 4 | 2022

Latest insights into Dorset's labour market 

In Dorset we look back at the 2022 jobs market which was strong with overall recruitment  exceeding previous years. The aggregate vacancies advertised in 2022 exceeded 84,000 and were the highest on record. There are signs that businesses were struggling to fill their vacancies, with demand for staff in sectors such as health and care remaining strong – fuelled by difficulties in filling roles and longer-term challenges, such as ageing population, against a backdrop of continuous increase in economic inactivity.  

The latest labour market indicators show the Dorset and BCP labour market are softening in recent months reflecting wider economic conditions. Much of the wider context has been provided by the cost of living crisis caused by high inflation and the erosion of household incomes and purchasing power – now resulting in widespread industrial action with employees seeing their real wages decline.

Read Dorset Labour Market & Skills Insights - Quarter 4 Report

Use the dashboard to explore the latest labour market developments. Should be read with the LMI during COVID-19 guidance.

In the Spotlight: Economic Inactivity

One of the major characteristics of the Dorset labour market during 2022 has been the sustained increase and level of economic inactivity – those people who have chosen not to work. The data highlights economic inactivity reaching 95,700 (21.5%) from 86,900 (19.5%) a year earlier. This has caused tightness in the labour market, resulting in difficulties in recruitment. As a result, despite weak economic conditions, unemployment has remained low by historical standards.

Chart of the Quarter: Pay

The evidence suggests that nominal pay growth (not taking into account inflation) has actually been quite strong during 2022 – particularly in the private sector, where employers have responded to employee pressure with an average wage increase of 7%. Wage growth in the public sector has lagged with only 2% annual nominal wage growth.

Future Career Corner: Hybrid

Hybrid or home working remains prevalent for many, with around 1-in-7 working solely from home, and around half of all employees now combining their week with home and location-based working. The impact of the pandemic still influences the pattern of modern work.


While the apprenticeships starts increased for the first time since 2017/18, achievements were at their lowest over that same period and there was a decline in apprenticeship vacancies advertised in Dorset in January 2023 compared to an year earlier, with the decline being more prevalent in BCP. Check out our Apprenticeship Finder to find current apprenticeship opportunities in Dorset.

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