The latest data from Adzuna and the ONS released today, reveals that retail vacancies saw an upsurge of up to 35.1% between June 5th and 12th in anticipation of job openings on Monday. This could mark the start of a recovery process for the UK labour market with online job adverts witnessing the largest increase since lockdown was announced. Online job adverts have increased from 45.6% to 50.1% of their 2019 average, giving jobseekers a touch of optimism as lock-down eases. This increase is spread relatively evenly across many industries, with every sector seeing a positive change. While levels of online job adverts are still far below pre-lockdown levels, this offers early evidence of a recovery in demand for labour.
To give context on these recent figures, from the start of March to the start of May 2020, total job adverts drastically decreased, reaching a low of 41.8% of its 2019 average on 1 May 2020. Industries including catering and hospitality, and wholesale and retail, both saw particularly large declines, each reaching the lowest value below 25% of their 2019 average values. In contrast, the volume of job adverts in education, and health and social care each saw a smaller decline from the beginning of March.
Job adverts for education, health and social care also saw significant increases, with health and social care reaching 102.9% of its 2019 average. In contrast, job adverts in the catering and hospitality category saw only a small increase to 19.6% of its 2019 average.
Despite UK vacancies showing its first signs of recovery, there is still a long way to go before the UK makes a full recovery. Job vacancies are still down 55% since January 2020. Hospitality vacancies are the biggest casualty in the job market, with vacancies falling 86% year to date. This has led UKHospitality and The British Beer and Pub Associaton (BBPA) to urge to Government to provide an opening date as soon as possible, so they can start to prepare. Insecurity around consumer spending is still greatly affecting graduate jobs (-77%), sales (-75%), consultancy (-75%), energy, (-75%) and admin jobs (-75%).
Andrew Hunter co-founder of Adzuna comments ‘we are pleased to see UK job vacancies showing the first signs of recovery this week and we hope this will be the first sign of an upward trend. However, the road to recovery could be long and we don’t want to start celebrating prematurely. Uncertainty around lock-down measures and consumer spending is likely to cause many businesses to hold back on hiring plans for the foreseeable future. We predict that the UK job market could take up to 12 to 18 months to fully recover and go back to the levels we saw last year’.