Transport and storage vacancies were down by more than a third in the last quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, putting the sector at the top of a league table of job vacancies across all major industries.

The finding comes from research by side hustle specialist Wealth of Geeks, which analysed the latest data from the Office of National Statistics on job vacancies between October 2022 and December 2022 and the same period in 2023.

The research found that transport and storage vacancies were down by 36.5%, with information and communication vacancies ranking second at 29%. and arts and entertainment coming in third place, with job opportunities down by 27.7%

The report attributes the fall in vacancies in the transport and storage sector to economic pressures, including rising fuel costs, which has forced the sector to cut costs to stay in business. It noted that, from 2021, the industry has seen a decrease in businesses of 0.3%, equating to 9,000 fewer businesses.

Fourth on the list is the financial and insurance sector, which saw a drop of 26.3% in vacancies, whilst the accommodation and food industry ranks fifth, with vacancies down by 23.9%. 

Professional scientific and technical vacancies are down by 22.9%, the research found, putting this industry in sixth position, with real estate seventh on the list, with a fall in vacancies of 19.4%. 

The retail industry is eighth on the list, with 18.6% fewer vacancies, and at ninth and tenth are human health and social work, with 17.6% fewer vacancies, and construction, with a fall of 17.4%.

Michael Dinich, spokesperson for Wealth of Geeks, commented: ”When looking at the number of available jobs, it’s essential to understand what industries are common as that will dictate what most of the population are employed to do.

“Areas such as retail and general customer service make up the bulk of jobs available, but this is affected by the economy and education level of the population. These jobs are suitable for anyone, meaning there’s often high competition and high turnover as people grow in their roles. When it comes to more specialized jobs such as teachers or doctors, the entry requirements are much higher, and turnover is low due to those requirements.

“Supply and demand is another consideration in the job market. Technology-related degrees have been popular in recent years, leading to many graduates; however, costs have also risen, meaning companies cannot afford to hire as many relevant employees.

“Companies face rising costs, causing a domino effect where they cannot employ people, so the public cannot afford goods and support companies.”