Jobs fall in UK, Demand for AI specialists remains robust

The number of UK job postings fell by 2.5 per cent in March, with remote job roles also contracting as businesses increased return-to-office pressures. That’s according to the latest data from global talent solutions provider, WilsonHCG.

The data – powered by Claro Analytics, WilsonHCG’s talent intelligence and labour market analytics platform –marked the fifth consecutive month of decline. The number of job postings for remote roles also dropped, as more organisations push for a return to office.

In March 2024, 4.4 per cent of jobs in the UK were listed as fully remote, down on the 5.8 per cent reported in January 2023. Hybrid job postings have, however, seen a gradual uptick over the last 12 months, increasing by 0.5 percentage points between March 2023 and 2024.

Demand for artificial intelligence specialists remains robust though, with 2,971 AI-specific job openings reported in March’24. Data scientists were the most in-demand roles in AI for the month, followed by Senior Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers.

Of the organisations most actively recruiting for AI specialists, JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association is the top employer, accounting for 155 of all AI job postings last month. Harnham and International Business Machines Corporation round off the top three companies hiring AI specialists across the UK in March.

“The slowdown in hiring is perhaps expected given the economic climate, while the drop in remote job postings does suggest that even more employers are opting for a return to office. Given the positive impact of more flexible working practices on diverse recruitment and employee retention, it’s encouraging to see that hybrid working options are slowly increasing, comments Craig Sweeney, EVP of global strategic talent solutions at WilsonHCG.

“More broadly, the data does suggest that demand for AI specialists is continuing to rise. And it shows no signs of slowing, particularly with the latest news that Microsoft is launching an AI hub in London. The demand for AI expertise is growing across businesses of all sizes, so competition for both general and specialist AI skills will intensify over the coming months. Employers need to ensure they’re in a position to both bring in new resources and expand and grow skillsets within the business to create a sustainable talent pool,” Craig concludes.


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