How is the UK Job Market Faring Under the Pressure of a Third National Lockdown?

2020 was undoubtedly one of the most challenging years for businesses in recent history. While many had hoped that we’d be getting back to normal by the start of 2021, instead we were plunged into our third national lockdown which was disappointing.

With so many businesses being forced to close their doors again, there has been concern about how this will further impact the UK job market and its recovery. However, it’s not all doom and gloom as the latest job market data suggests a much more positive picture than you may expect.

What do the figures say?

Data from leading UK job board, CV-Library, shows that vacancy numbers are significantly higher now than they were during the first lockdown. In fact, when we compare the first month of lockdown one to lockdown three, job postings are up 165.3%.

What’s even more revealing is when we compare the data year-on-year. We may expect vacancy numbers to be massively lower than pre-pandemic levels with so many industries having had to close down. However, Reed.co.uk found that their vacancy numbers were up 19% when comparing February 2020 with February 2021. They saw an impressive 232,000 job advert posted in February this year, compared with 195,000 in 2020.

These figures would certainly suggest that many businesses are feeling optimistic and confident about their recruitment strategies despite the on-going restrictions.

Which industries have been impacted the most?

While vacancy numbers are strong, we can see that there are certain industries that have been hit hard by COVID-19. Job postings in the catering sector are down 76.3%, leisure and tourism has fallen 67.8% and retail dropped by 56% year-on-year according to CV-Library.

In contrast, annual increases have been seen in the medical and distribution sectors which have risen by 38.3% and 37.9% respectively. Graduate trainee and internship roles have also been increasing month-on-month this year which is positive given that the younger demographic is expected to be the worst hit by unemployment during the pandemic.

How can we maintain momentum?

The current UK job market statistics is great news for businesses, however, it’s important for employers to try to maintain this momentum. High vacancy numbers will help to keep professionals in jobs which will lessen the strain on the economy and boost everyone’s road to recovery.

Recruiting now should also help companies to gain a competitive edge when business does return to normal. High-calibre talent is crucial for generating innovation and long-term business growth.

If you need any help with planning your recruitment strategy for 2021 or are looking for a recruitment partner who understands your business and can deliver high-quality talent, get in touch with us today!

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