Despite a projected slowdown in the overall job market, the South of England is expected to maintain its position as the top region for job opportunities in 2023, according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

The data, provided by business intelligence specialist VacancySoft, revealed that the South of England is forecast to hold 44.1 per cent of UK jobs by the end of the year, largely driven by a 25.9 per cent growth in vacancies in the South West.

The research identified technology and retail as sectors likely to see the biggest drops in jobs in 2023, down 48.7 per cent and 32 per cent respectively year-on-year. However, industries such as not-for-profit, and industrial & engineering are expected to experience annual increases of 53.3 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively.

When looking at individual companies, defence contractor BAE Systems stands out as a highly active employer, with a 58 per cent rise in vacancies predicted. Other major employers such as Babcock, Mott MacDonald, and the Ministry of Defence are similarly projected to hire more workers in 2023 compared to last year.

“In what has been a tough year for recruitment, the South remains the epicentre of job opportunities in the UK,” said Ann Swain, Global CEO of APSCo. “Even with an overall decline forecast, this region is still projected to account for nearly half of the country’s vacancies. However, we can’t ignore the fact that there are sectors facing skills shortages, including engineering which continues to see an increase in demand across the region. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the New Year, however for now the South of England looks set to remain a highly promising market for recruiters, particularly for those in the Not-For-Profit and Engineering remits.”

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