Flourishing in February! Legal sector sees strong start to 2022

It’s time to share what our idibu Index revealed for the month of February. Our market insight gained from idibu job posts and applications unearthed some thought-provoking findings in the second month of 2022.

The rise in activity, in particular job applications that we saw (and preempted) in January, continued into February. Applications across just about all sectors remained on a par with January’s stats and even continued to rise in some. Engineering and Financial Services are both examples of sectors experiencing some of February’s greatest upsurges.

UK job market by region

When breaking down the figures by region, they largely mirrored January. Scotland had the fewest applications (4%), closely followed by Yorkshire (6%). And at the other end of the scale, the Northwest and Southwest accounted for 12% of the activity, after the notoriously busy Southeast which was responsible for an impressive 41% of all applications.

The pie chart represents job applications by regions of the UK for past few months

When looking at individual regional differences, there were some slight dips in both postings and applications towards the end of the month. These were most noticeable for Yorkshire, Scotland, Wales, and the Southeast, but generally the stats are good when compared to previous years. In contrast, East Anglia and the Northwest were both regions with noticeable peaks at the end of the month.

Legal sector jobs are up

As we headed further into February, we noticed that the Legal sector in particular is flourishing. With many recruiters in our network noticing a shift to locum work over the past few months, could this explain the significant increase in job posts and applications?

Line graph shows job applications trends by sectors for past few months in the UK

West Midlands jobs - contract roles are thriving

This stand-out shift for the Legal sector prompted us to explore contract roles across other sectors too. As the region with the most recruitment activity each month, it’s no surprise that the Southeast topped the chart with the highest number of contract roles.

But more unexpectedly, and in second place, was the West Midlands with 12% of all contract roles. The West Midlands would therefore appear to have a larger number of contract positions than both the Southwest and Northwest which typically total more jobs and applications each month.

The pie chart illustrates contract jobs by regions of the UK for past few months

A successful start to the year for the recruitment industry, will it remain as busy into March and beyond? Time will tell. We’ll be back next month with an overview of the next few weeks’ activity and to see whether trends continue, or tables are turned.

If you’d like to know more about our idibu Index, or what idibu could do for your business, we’d love to hear from you.

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