The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

The Best and Worst Performing Industries of 2015


2015 was a fruitful year for the UK job market, with job growth jumping up 23.1% when compared with 2014. As the UK’s largest job site, CV-Library has unique insight into the job market, and a good overview of how different sectors performed throughout last year. In addition, the final months of 2015 saw a prominent trend that has crossed into the New Year; job hunters are applying to fewer roles and are being far more selective in their searches, increasing the talent war across a number of industries.

Education – an Industry in Crisis

It’s no secret that pressure has long been mounting on the education industry, as its professionals endure the stress of increasing workloads and longer hours. Unfortunately, the industry as a whole is now facing a new challenge: recruitment. While the industry saw strong job growth, with a 38.7% increase in job vacancies in 2015, compared to 2014, we’ve discovered that the education sector has become the latest victim of the growing job market trend, where candidate interest in the booming industry is dwindling.

Perhaps even more concerning is our recent research, which discovered that education professionals are the most stressed in Britain, with a staggering 79.1% feeling that they don’t have enough time in the day to complete their basic tasks. However, we did find that education professionals would be more inclined to apply for a job in the industry if some simple amends were made to the working environment. Workplace perks such as free food, and improved training and development opportunities proved to be the most popular suggestions to entice new workers.

Brighter Outlook for Construction

The forecast for the construction industry is looking much stronger, thanks to the UK’s recent house-building boom. Solid growth was seen across the sector in 2015 (compared to 2014), with job growth totalling 40.6%. Interestingly, application rates within the industry managed to maintain pace, with the sector experiencing a 37% year-on-year increase. But sadly it’s not all good news within the industry; our recent research revealed that construction professionals are some of the least likely to receive training at work, despite believing that constant learning and development opportunities are crucial to stay ahead of industry changes.

More positive news, however, from within the industry is that CV-Library’s 2015 salary review revealed how average construction salaries increased by 10.2% year-on-year, jumping from £40,309 to £44,690; implying hope for further improvement in candidate interest in 2016.

Struggles within Customer Services

2015 saw real struggles in the customer services sector, with jobs struggling to maintain candidate interest, and this looks set to continue throughout 2016. Last year we saw impressive job growth, however, application rates simply failed to maintain pace; when compared to 2014, jobs in 2015 grew by 40.3%. But when reviewing application rates for the same time period, we saw an increase of only 23.2%, meaning that there are now fewer applications per job.

Additionally, customer services workers are also suffering with high stress levels; over half (53.7%) of employees in the sector believe that they don’t have enough time in the day to live their daily lives outside of work. Worse still, average salaries in the sector actually dropped by 3.8% in 2015 when compared to 2014, with the average salary falling from £20,763 to £19,986.

A Booming Distribution Sector

Luckily for the distribution industry, 2015 brought nothing but good news; our data reveals strong growth. There was a 36% year-on-year job growth in 2015, when compared to 2014, and the growing labour market in the sector was supported by impressive candidate interest. Application rates in 2015 jumped by a huge 47%, meaning distribution employers have more candidates to choose from than ever before, when filling their roles.

While advertised salaries in the sector fell by 0.47% in 2015 when compared with the previous year, the overall feeling within the industry is certainly one of positivity.

With 2016 underway and the job market still strengthening, employers are set to be working even harder to attract talented candidates to fill their roles. CV-Library’s January data suggests a busy and fruitful year for the recruitment industry. Applications via CV-Library reached a record-breaking 2.8 million last month alone and our candidate database has now exceed 9.7 million CVs. Let’s hope these numbers continue to flourish in the months ahead.