Ask HN: What's the state of the job market in the UK?

I'm a mid-senior web developer and I'm finding it brutal, I'm getting close to no responses to my direct applications, and the interviews I'm getting via LinkedIn recruiters are uninspiring at best.

Is it slow right now or am I the problem?

A bad trend I'm also noticing is most of the jobs now seem to be hybrid with 2-3 mandatory days in the office per week, which seems like a bad deal to me in that it's almost as inflexible as being on site, and likely means hotdesking.

15 points | by sprouteater 309 days ago


  • Peroni 309 days ago
    It's the worst job market I've seen in the UK since 2008. A huge number of companies made significant redundancies and the market is saturated with extremely talented people so there's not only more competition for decent opportunities, the bar is also much higher.

    As for hybrid working, that will be the norm for at least the next few years so if you want a realistic shot at landing a decent job, you'll need to compromise on your expectations here quite heavily.

    There are some signs that the market is improving but expect it to take a minimum of 12-18 months before it returns to any semblance of normality.

    • usgroup 307 days ago
      I think substantive improvements in the market will coincide with decreases in the base interest rate since the UK is a highly leveraged economy and investment/borrowing is where much of the development budgets originate, especially in the London start-up/scale-up and mid-market companies.

      Meanwhile, inflation is smashing profit by increasing the cost of the factors of production. So reinvestment of profit lead development has also significantly decreased. This will be alleviated with a decrease of the inflation rate toward target, which will most likely occur sooner than the interest rates fall, since the former presently drives the latter.

  • usgroup 307 days ago
    I think the forward guidance from macro forecasts by various banks is peak unemployment around December 2023, and the beginning of a recovery around mid 2024. We are expected to be back to growth by early 2025. I personally concur with this view. Until then I fear we are all either moreso squirrels or grasshoppers -- as the parable goes -- and will reap accordingly.
  • mke1982 308 days ago
    Seems very bad to me (SysAdmin/Generalist Engineer).

    Of the few interviews I've done this year, they've been rather HR centric and lacking in technical content. I usually get a follow-up interview, followed by an unspecific rejection (or 'culture-fit') even after a seemingly positive discussion.

  • Ratavata 309 days ago
    Same experience here. I'm not a developer but do work in tech. There are barely any jobs. I had a look Yesterday at senior tech role and was surprised to see thousands of applicants. I'm not getting any responses atm.
  • level87 309 days ago
    My experience is the same, no responses or very late rejections many months after sending the application. Friends are also finding it very difficult.
  • pruthviraj92 309 days ago
    it is slow.. damn slow all over the world.. nothing to do with you.