Over 30% of UK Workers Are Thinking About a New Job for the New Year

New Year Job Search

The New Year is the ideal time for a fresh start—and one resolution that many people typically make going into January is to find a new job.

2016 is no different. In fact, in a recent survey commissioned by Indeed, we found that over 30% of UK workers are thinking of making a career change as the New Year gets underway.

Breaking the results down further, we found that 11% of respondents said that finding new work was definitely on their list for 2016, while a further 21% said the same goal was possible.

Motivations vary, but salary is a key factor for many people. In fact, 62% of respondents told us they would be looking for increased wages in 2016. By contrast, 31% said they were interested in a higher position or title. Meanwhile, for 41% a better location is a goal.

That’s a lot of people looking for new opportunities. It’s easy to start the year with good intentions, of course—but how many people are actually transforming them into action?

Job searches surge in early January

As the biggest job site in world, Indeed is in a unique position to take a deep look at how many people are taking action to find a new job in 2016. So we pulled the data for the month of December and the first week of January to get a better understanding of the phenomenon.

In fact, we always see a surge in search at the start of the year, and January 2016 continues the tradition:

After dropping off during the holiday period, the number of searches for a new job on Indeed quickly recovered, increasing by 33% between the last week of December and the first week of January. Each year we add more jobs to Indeed and each year we see more people actively looking for new opportunities. This year, we saw a slightly steeper increase than in 2015. Meanwhile after hitting this peak, search stays pretty constant as the business of finding a new job gets underway for the year.

The good news in 2016 is that this search is happening in a healthy hiring climate. The strong interest in job search may also benefit industries which have suffered from a talent gap, such as healthcare, transportation and information technology.

Top ten cities for job search growth in January 2016

Location also plays an important role in the hunt for a new job of course—and analysis of search can provide us with insights here, too. So we pulled the data to identify the cities in UK with the fastest growth in the number of unique job seekers in 2016.

In the top ten we see an interesting mix. Reading is home to many large tech firms, including Microsoft, Oracle and Verizon. Growing interest in the city could be tied to the rise in demand for tech talent.

Birmingham, number two on the list, has benefitted from economic growth for the past few years.  Last year, the ONS reported that Birmingham was at the top of the list of core cities posting strong growth figures. The Indeed data indicates that jobseekers have caught on to the opportunities available there.

For Southampton, coming in at number three, the 23.3% increase in jobseeker interest is perhaps the most promising. Even though the town is the economic hub of the south coast and home to a major port which gets 1.5 million cruise visitors per year, the Centre for Cities found that it topped the list of with the lowest business growth last year (PDF). The lift in interest from candidates could be a signal that things are turning around for the better.

It’s a good time for hiring

For employers, this surge in jobseeker interest means that it’s a good time to post a job. Last year, the economic recovery led to increased demand from employers with jobseeker interest (i.e. supply) lagging behind. This year, we may see that gap closing as jobseekers catch on to the wealth of opportunities available.

As Indeed Senior Vice President Paul D’Arcy says:

“The key for successful placements in this market is for job hunters to match up with employers that can meet their needs. If you’re already employed but want a change, now is a good time not just to look for a new job, but the right job.”

And even as searches surge in January, it’s important to remember that every time of the year is good for hunting for that perfect post, or candidate.

Learn how Indeed can help you hire

Survey methodology
The national survey was conducted online by Censuswide on behalf of Indeed from December 22, 2015 through January 4, 2016, and included a representative sample of 1,040 UK workers across industries.