Staffordshire saw a decrease in the number of available job vacancies between November and December, new figures show.
A total of 16,700 vacancies were available in the county during the time period, a four per cent decrease, and 6,300 in Stoke-on-Trent, a two per cent decline.
The numbers obtained by Staffordshire County Council show the early impact of the recession on businesses given that recruitment usually increases during the period leading up to Christmas. Further declines are expected in coming months.
However, there is still a high demand for labour and skills across many parts of the economy across the county.
Several sectors showed increases in demand during December – the most significant being roles in those with seasonal job opportunities and parts of the economy experiencing ongoing recruitment difficulties. The sectors include social care, hospitality, childcare, education and logistics and health.
The greatest demand is for jobs in social care – including care workers – followed by high demand for nurses. Other in-demand roles include van drivers, kitchen and catering assistants, teaching assistants, customer service occupations, engineering technicians and chartered and certified accountants.
Darren Farmer, Economy and Skills Analyst at the county council, said: “Over the next few months, we are expecting to see a considerable reduction in recruitment.
“Unfortunately, the cost-of-living crisis and high energy prices are leaving a lot of local businesses struggling and with that comes the decision to reduce staffing costs in order to help them try to survive.
“This is a particular concern due to the fact we have a lot of high energy-intensive sectors in Staffordshire.”
The figures form part of the latest Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Economic Bulletin released yesterday, Monday, which can be found here.
Individuals and employers have been reminded that Staffordshire County Council has a new job brokerage service to help with recruitment.