Marketing News

UK employment rate on the up - and it’s good news for marketers

23 May 2019

The UK is experiencing something of a jobs boom right now.

Unemployment is at its lowest level since 1974. Or in other words, unemployment hasn’t been this low since the year Ceefax first launched on the BBC and McDonald’s opened their first UK restaurant.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal that in the first three months of the year the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8%. And with the unemployment rate dropping, the employment rate is naturally rising, hitting a record high of 76.1%.

Bearing in mind the current sluggish GDP growth and the ongoing turmoil surrounding Brexit, this is being hailed as quite an achievement.

But while many see these figures as a sign that the job market is strong, to accurately measure the success of the labour market, you need to look at other factors as well. Criteria such as the quality of work, as well as the flexibility, inclusivity, and productivity of the jobs market also need to be taken into consideration.

Now, the focus needs to shift towards making sure all workers in all industries have access to equal opportunities to develop skills and find good work for the future.

Growth in marketing and creative jobs

In line with the national upturn in employment, marketing and creative sectors have also experienced a rise in jobs so far this year.

According to new research, design and social media roles are, particularly on the up. Analysing more than 10 million jobs over the past four years, the research revealed a 38% rise for UX designers, a 35% increase for social media managers, and growth of 33% for social media executive roles last year.

Interest in SEO managers has grown by 44% over the last five years, while interest in social media managers is 84 times greater than it was in 2008 – certainly great news if you’re looking to take the next step in your marketing career.

Here at Stopgap we can certainly attest to this. We are seeing quite a buoyant market in terms of marketing roles, although we would temper that by saying some sectors are more buoyant than others. We would also say that it is a better environment currently for those at the start of the careers or entry-level marketers. A lot of the roles we are seeing are at the junior end of the market, so it’s not such good news for senior marketers necessarily.

The value of qualifications

Amid this growth, Marketing Week’s 2019 Career and Salary Survey reveals that marketing professionals are finding their way into the profession via a number of routes. More than half (53.8%) of the marketers questioned admitted having not studied a marketing-related academic or professional qualification.

This raises a couple of issues. Firstly, it calls into question whether the content of marketing courses can realistically keep up with the rapid change happening within the industry. Secondly, it suggests that while technical ability can be learned on the job, businesses are increasingly looking to recruit marketing candidates with the right mix of soft skills.

Jackie Pinfold, our Lead Consultant in the Professional Services sector notes that the skill sets required by marketers are changing and developing faster than ever: 

“New types of jobs and indeed entirely new industries coming to market reflect changes in the marketing sector with the advent of martech and the use of digital channels. More now than ever, digital skillsets are in demand. Tech goes out of date as soon as it is released so learning on the job is a constant, no matter what marketing qualifications a candidate has.”

Our Marketing Manager Tom Johnson agrees: “I used to often see job descriptions that asked for a marketing degree or qualification from the likes of the CIM as a must have. But that is becoming less common. Now employers recognise that skill sets, experience and the ability to learn and adapt in an ever-changing sector is more important than an academic qualification.”

And Jackie confirms that we see that in the current jobs market: “We find that a marketing qualification is rarely a deal breaker when employers meet an inspiring marketing professional with a great personality and proven track record.”

 No matter what your skills, or level of experience, the Stopgap team have a host of marketing opportunities in a range of sectors from FMCG to retail and the public sector. Register with us as a candidate now and our team will be in touch. 

And if you are a business looking to recruit the best marketing talent with the most cutting edge skills? Why not Brief Us on a role now.

increase in roles for social media managers.
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