Dorset labour market & Skills insights - Quarter 3 | 2022

Latest insights into Dorset's labour market 

After an unprecedented political whirlwind, the UK saw its third premier appointed in three months and as former chancellor Rishi Sunak settles in as the new prime minister, he is clearly facing a winter of discontent.

We look closer at the latest economic and labour market developments, marked by financial volatility, rising prices and mortgage rates and a decline in real terms earnings over the third quarter of the year. 

Read Quarter 3 2022 Report

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

In the Spotlight: the economy and the cost of living

There has been a continued slowing in the three-month economic growth, and GDP also fell by 0.3% in the three months to August. Output in consumer-facing services also fell in August, and with retail sales also showing weakness this is adding up to a picture of persistent and high inflation beginning to impact on consumer spending.

The now dubbed ‘cost of living crisis’ has seen inflation reaching heights not seen since the 1970s. The scale of price increases has fuelled by a combination of factors, not least the global response to the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine and its impact on energy and agricultural prices (and hence food prices), as well as supply chain bottlenecks. The latest inflation rate hit >10% and is expected to rise further through the remainder of 2022.

Inflationary pressures drive up business insolvency rates and erode wage increases leading to a decline in wages in real terms. The ONS estimates that around 20% (1-in-5) of working adults are looking for a job that pays more money, and 18% are working more hours than usual because of the increases in the costs of living.

Sustained slow down of labour demand seen for the first time in almost two years in Dorset

After almost two years of unprecedented growth, there was a continuous decline seen in labour demand in the three consecutive months to September across Dorset.

Still, the overall vacancies in the last quarter reached circa 25,000 which was not far from the levels seen in the first quarter. Overall, the first three quarters saw circa 79,500 vacancies across the county, which was a third higher than the same period last year and nearly double than 2020.

Top employers and job creation in Dorset

The employers topping the charts in terms of the number of vacancies advertised were from a variety of sectors including healthcare (NHS and care firms), local government (BCP and Dorset Councils), finance (JP Morgan), tourism and hospitality (Bourne Leisure, Haven, Whitbread, Hall & Woodhouse and National Trust), education (BU and BPC), manufacturing (Holt Engineering, Ultra, RNLI) and retail (TESCO, ASDA etc).

With c7,850 vacancies advertised in the first 9 months of 2022 in hospitality, food and tourism, far in excess of the same period in preceding years there are reports that UK hospitality businesses are increasingly turning to older workers to plug staffing shortages. Approximately 19% of hospitality businesses said the proportion of over-50s in their organisations had increased in the past year – reflecting shifting demographics.

The jobs in highest demand within the top 3 occupation groups in Dorset were:

  • Professional: nurses, programmers, and teachers.
  • Associate professionals: HR, Engineering, and IT Support.
  • Elementary: Kitchen and catering staff, cleaners, storage workers.

The fact that c4,300 care roles have been advertised in 9 months reflects the continued demand for people to fill these roles – only expected to increase as demographics continue to shift and staff shortages continue.

Employment down, unemployment down, inactivity rising

Employment in Dorset fell, but rates remained comparable to national rate. Unemployment also fell compared to the same period the year before, highlighting rise in economic inactivity. There appears to have been a significant drop in the proportion of economically inactive who want a job (10,900 in June 22 v 20,300 in June 21), conversely a big increase in those who are not seeking a job (82,700 v 66,800).

Future Career Corner: Transferable skills

Employers most frequently requested soft skills were communication, customer service, management, sales, detail-orientation and marketing and personal attributes such as enthusiasm and self motivation. Many of these were less prevalent in candidate profiles than in job postings.

Destination Dorset: Your Career Starts Here

The Dorset Careers Hub has recently published Industry LMI posters and interactive dashboards to support young people in Dorset with informed career decisions.

Read Quarter 3 2022 Report