Limited company contractors, freelancers and other workers looking for their next role during October 2016 had their pick of 2.6 per cent more vacancies than there were in September this year.
This is the finding of new jobs market analysis from Adzuna, which reveals there were more than 1.1 million opportunities for contractors advertised in the UK in October in total.
In addition, there were slightly fewer job hunters going after each vacancy during the month, with a drop of 0.03 per cent recorded in comparison to September. Although only a small decline, this still means there was less competition for contractors going after their next role, and suggests that the skills shortage may be easing slightly.
Pay rates for workers also increased during October, with a significant rise of 5.9 per cent recorded for rates in the healthcare and nursing sector. This is most likely due to healthcare companies wanting to recruit more workers to cope with higher demand over the colder winter months.
Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, commented: "The jobs market has opened up new, lucrative opportunities for jobseekers as the number of total vacancies is on the up and catering to a wider and diverse talent pool."
He added that with the Christmas season upon us, contractors specialising in certain sectors - such as hospitality, catering and retail - can expect to see an even greater increase in the number of opportunities available to them in the run-up to December 25th.
Mr Munro explained: "Jobseekers looking to earn additional income … can take advantage of the Christmas seasonality at a time when temporary and part-time roles become most accessible.
"Vacancies within the retail sector are especially attractive due to the flexibility and lower entry level requirements."
Therefore, contractors and freelancers need to make sure they are putting themselves forward for any suitable opportunities throughout December, as nobody knows what the first few months of 2017 will bring.
With Britain looking set to begin the official process of leaving the European Union early next year and January and February traditionally being fairly slow hiring periods, it's important that contractors are taking advantage of available vacancies now.
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