United Kingdom / Analyst Insights
Who's Hiring?

What information do you want to see from IBISWorld on COVID-19? We'd love to hear from you

by Alice Crundwell, Industry Analyst
May 15 2019

Despite other markets recently facing a significant slowdown in activity as a result of uncertainty stemming from the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, the labour market has remained resilient. According to the latest data released by the ONS for December 2018 to February 2019, the UK employment rate is estimated at 76.1%, the joint-highest figure on record. One reason that job creation has remained high, despite a Brexit-induced slowdown elsewhere, is that the job market lags behind the rest of the economy as recruitment normally runs over the course of a few months. The jobs market is also highly flexible, meaning the risks fall on employees. In uncertain times companies can invest in human capital rather than more expensive forms of capital, such as new plants and machinery, as staff can be let go later if demand slows.

Secure future

IBISWorld has identified key hiring growth industries across the UK economy, with the Security System Services industry expected to have the largest increase in employment of all industries over 2019-20, at 10.1%. This is nearly double the rate of the second fastest hiring industry within the administrative and support service activities sector. The main force driving employment figures in this industry is the government’s commitment to help build 300,000 homes per annum through mid-2020-21, confirmed in the 2018 Spring Budget. A considerable budget for housing developments is expected to support demand for the industry’s services as security surveillance is required during and after housing construction, driving employment growth.

 N80.200 - Security System Services in the UK

Digital drive

Employment in both the Cyber Security Software Development industry and the Online Women’s Clothing Retailing industry is expected to grow by 9.9% over 2019-20, highlighting how the move towards online services in the wholesale and retail trade sector and the information and communication sector is driving employment expansion. Cyber Security Software Development has become one of the key hiring growth industries over the past five years, with industry employment expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 18.5% over the five years through 2019-20. Cyber-attacks have become arguably the most prominent modern risk to global organisations that process sensitive data. This has led to the rapid expansion of revenue and employment as demand for industry services skyrocketed. Industry revenue is expected to reach over £1 billion by 2024-2025.

The Online Women’s Clothing Retailing industry has had a similar growth pattern with the proliferation of the internet and mobile devices driving demand. Marketing has been pivotal to industry growth; social media in particular has become heavily influential in creating trends and extending market reach, which has caused a surge in hiring within the industry.

Similarly, employment in the professional, scientific and technical activities sector has been driven by growth in online services. The Management Consultants industry has benefited from the ongoing integration of digital technology in business, which has been a major driver of revenue growth and increased demand for IT strategy. Source, a global analysis insights and data company, stated that digital work across consultancy businesses was worth approximately £3 billion in 2017, and more than half of all strategy work in the United Kingdom is now digital-related. As a result, employment is expected to grow by 8.4% in 2019-20.

UK0.035 - Cyber Security Software Development in the UK

UK0.016 - Online Women’s Clothing Retailing in the UK

M70.229 - Management Consultants in the UK

Healthy opportunities

The Juice and Smoothie Bars industry is also included in the top five key hiring industries in 2019-20, with expected employment growth of 8.3% over the year. The rate of employment growth in the Juice and Smoothie Bars industry was almost three times that of the next fastest hiring industry in the accommodation and food service activities sector. Health consciousness has been increasing in the United Kingdom in recent years, and is set to continue to dominate the food and drinks market, leading to rapid expansion of major players catering to the health-conscious individual. The expansion of health-promoting industries is also reflected in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, with the top three hiring industries consisting of Sports Facilities, Personal Trainers, and Gyms and Fitness Centres.

UK0.007 - Juice & Smoothie Bars in the UK

R93.110 - Sports Facilities in the UK

UK0.027 - Personal Trainers in the UK

R93.130 - Gyms & Fitness Centres in the UK


Other noteworthy industries with strong employment growth in 2019-20 include the Railway Equipment Manufacturing industry and the Urban Passenger Rail Operations industry, which are the fastest hiring industries in the manufacturing and transportation & storage sectors. This can be attributed to major investment in domestic rail infrastructure in recent years calling for an expansion in employment of engineers and maintenance technicians, strategy and transport planners, and administrative staff. Expansion has been particularly fast in London, where Transport for London operates, and is continually improving services.

C30.200 - Railway Equipment Manufacturing in the UK

H49.311 - Urban Passenger Rail Operations in the UK

Education and Healthcare

Demographic trends are also expected to influence employment trends over 2019-20. Employment in the General Secondary Education industry is expected to rise by 2.1% over the coming year. The number of births in Britain increased over the decade through 2012-13, which has led to a rise in the number of children at secondary school age in recent years, resulting in an employment drive to keep student-teacher ratios down.

The baby boom following the end of World War II has also resulted in a rise in the number of people over the age of 65 in the United Kingdom. As a result of the ageing population, employment in the human health and social work activities sector has increased in order to support demand. Employment in the Diagnostic and Ambulance Services industry and the Social Services for the Elderly and People with Disabilities industry is expected to expand by 3.8% and 3% respectively, as both cater heavily to this rapidly expanding market.

P85.310 - General Secondary Education in the UK

Q86.900 - Diagnostic & Ambulance Services in the UK

Q88.100 - Social Services for the Elderly & People with Disabilities in the UK


For a printable PDF of Who's Hiring?, click here.

For more information on these, or any of the UK’s 400 industries, log on to www.ibisworld.co.uk, or follow IBISWorldUK on Twitter.