The proportion of food manufacturers hiring for jobs related to machine learning rose in March compared with the equivalent month last year, according to fresh data on hiring trends in the industry.

Some 21.6% of companies were recruiting for at least one such position, analysis from GlobalData showed.

This latest figure was higher than the 19.8% of companies who were hiring for machine learning related jobs a year ago but a decrease compared to the figure of 25.9% in February this year.

When it came to the rate of all job openings that were linked to machine learning, related job postings stood at 0.8% of all newly-posted job ads in March. That was the highest monthly figure recorded in the past year and is an increase compared to the 0.4% of newly-advertised jobs linked to machine learning in the equivalent month a year ago.

Machine learning is one of the topics that GlobalData, Just Food’s parent company, has identified as being a disruptive force facing business in the coming years. Companies that excel and invest in these areas now are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

GlobalData says its analysis of the data shows food manufacturers are hiring for machine-learning jobs at a rate lower than the average for all companies within its job analytics database. The average among all companies stood at 1.3% in March.

The company’s job analytics database tracks the daily hiring patterns of thousands of companies across the world, drawing in jobs as they’re posted and tagging them with additional layers of data on everything from the seniority of each position to whether a job is linked to wider industry trends.

Further analysis on job trends in the food industry:

Big data hiring levels in food industry on rise

Cybersecurity hiring levels in food industry remain in growth – data

North America is seeing hiring boom for roles in food industry automation

The latest geographic trends in food-industry digital-media jobs