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UK job market is one of the worst-hit worldwide by Covid-19 outbreak


The UK is one of the biggest casualties in the global job market after job vacancies plummet 42% year to date, according to the latest research by job search engine The Coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the UK job market, with hospitality, energy, and admin vacancies falling to their lowest levels in over eight years.

The downfall marks a 7% drop week on week and is likely to be affected by falling consumer confidence in the UK. The US is the second biggest casualty in the job market with a 38% reduction in advertised vacancies, followed by Russia (-32%), who implemented additional measures to slow the spread of the virus on Monday. New Zealand is also among the worst affected markets (-27%), as strict lock-down continues across the country.

Unsurprisingly, the hospitality and catering industry continues to be the biggest casualty in the UK job market, losing nearly three quarters (-74%) of vacancies due to closures across the country, a further 8% decrease from last week. Other industries heavily impacted in the UK include energy (-66%), admin (-63%), travel (-61%) and HR and recruitment (-61%).

Globally, the hospitality and catering industry has seen the biggest reduction in job vacancies (-49%), down 15% from this time last week. Manufacturing jobs have also seen a continuous decline, now standing at 31% less than eight weeks ago, which is a further 24% decrease from last week. In the UK however, manufacturing is the 12th most-affected industry, losing just over half of advertised vacancies in 8 weeks (52%). 

Jobs in travel and logistics across the world also saw some of the highest decreases in vacancies compared to eight weeks ago, standing at -42% for travel and -38% for logistics and warehouse roles. Although not the highest percentage overall, job vacancies in travel have seen the biggest overall decline globally since last week, at -27%. 

However the UK is leading the way for vacancies in domestic help and cleaning jobs as these are up 20% in the UK, compared to globally where these roles are down 12%. 



Domestic workers and cleaning jobs (+20%)

Open vacancies in the UK – 9,773

Cleaners, domestic workers and hospital cleaning staff continue to be in demand as vacancies within this sector continue to increase in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Government and public health officials emphasise the importance of clean working and living areas to contain the virus, which has led to increased demand across the country for these roles. 


Admin jobs (-63%)

Open vacancies in the UK – 12,058

Although there are still 12,058 admin jobs available in the UK, the sector is amongst the most impacted industries with a 63% reduction in live vacancies. The global figures show a similar decrease in neighbouring countries with a 34% reduction seen across the world. 


Energy jobs (-66%)

Open vacancies in the UK – 1,199

Vacancies within the energy sector have decreased by a staggering 66% since the Coronavirus outbreak, down from 3,643 to 1,199 in the UK. This figure is significantly higher than the impact being felt in other countries, with only a 17% drop in energy jobs globally. With limited access to homes and workplaces across the UK now, the majority of Brits are working from home and the recent lockdown restrictions could be the reason behind this sudden decline in vacancies. 


Hospitality and catering jobs (-74%)

Open vacancies in the UK – 13,982

The hospitality and catering industry in the UK has lost nearly three-quarters of all advertised vacancies in the year to date (-74%) as lockdown continues into its fourth week, with no sign of restrictions being lifted soon. The number of open vacancies has dropped from 51,998 to 13,982 across the UK this year. Interestingly, hospitality positions across the globe have dropped 49% with live vacancies decreasing from 292,565 to 150,144 in the last eight weeks as the industry continues to suffer globally.


Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, comments; “The economy has been hugely impacted by the measures to control the spread of the virus in recent weeks. The UK has lost a staggering 42% of vacancies over an eight week period. This is another blow for the UK, which is predicted to see unemployment sour by more than 2 million and the economy shrink by 35% according to the Office for Budget Responsibility”. 

“We are continuing to see vacancies in the hospitality industry decline and it’s no surprise, with the lockdown measures set to still be in place for the foreseeable future, that this figure will continue to decrease. Interestingly the UK reduction in hospitality vacancies is significantly higher than we are seeing in neighbouring countries, however, this is reflective of the different phases of the pandemic each country is in at this time and we anticipate other countries will see a similar impact”. 

“Although the vacancy figures are on a steady decline, we are confident that the UK job market will bounce back from this once we have passed the peak of the pandemic, but we can expect to see this downward trend continue over the next few weeks. ”