The Dorset labour and skills report


Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has issued its latest insights on the current labour market and employment situation in Dorset.

The report, which analyses detailed national and local data from July to September as well as an overall view of 2022 thus far, looks closely at the latest economic and labour market developments.
Unsurprisingly, financial volatility, rising prices and mortgage rates and a decline in real terms earnings all feature.
A continuous decline can be seen in labour demand across Dorset, coming after almost two years of unprecedented growth.
Overall, vacancies across the county for the first three quarters (circa 79,500) was a third higher than the same period last year – and nearly double the figure from 2020.
The report also captures:
Homeworking – the number of work from home vacancies increased exponentially over the past two years in Dorset, but markedly slowed down in the last quarter.
Employment – employment in the county fell, but remains comparable to the national rate. There was a significant drop in the proportion of economically inactive people who want a job but a big increase in those who are not seeking work
Top employers – the NHS remains by far the largest employer in Dorset, followed by BCP and Dorset Councils alongside key finance and tourism private sector businesses.
Who’s hiring – over the first nine months of 2022, vacancy growth continued across most sectors of the economy in Dorset. The largest was recorded in ‘accommodation and food service’, which more than doubled.
There were almost 15,000 vacancies in ‘human health and social work’.
Occupation trends – the high-skilled labour market continues to be strong, with the scale of professional job vacancies now reaching pre-pandemic levels.
Top jobs – carers and office assistants overtook nurses and software developers as the jobs most required in Dorset. Other roles such as customer service, chefs, cleaners and kitchen staff continued to be in demand.
Skills – the most frequently requested soft skills in advertised job descriptions were communication, customer service, management, sales, detail orientation and marketing.
Salaries – advertised vacancies appear to suggest that wages are not markedly increasing
Demographics – approximately 19 per cent of hospitality businesses said the proportion of over-50s in their organisations had increased in the past year

Vinita Nawathe, Executive Director of Dorset LEP said: “The results are set against the volatile political and economic backdrop of the last quarter. The impact of rising prices has largely eroded any increases in wages which is also reflected locally.
‘The fact that UK hospitality businesses are increasingly turning to older workers to plug staffing shortages is interesting, reflecting shifting demographics. The continued demand for people to fill care roles is only expected to increase as the county’s ageing population increases and shortages continue.”

The full report is available to read/ download on the Dorset LEP website


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