Competition for jobs intensifies – as applications across the UK soar by 32%

Covid-19 News | Employment & Skills | Surveys

The latest job market report from CV-Library reveals that job applications soared by a massive 32% in June, as candidates continued to look for new work opportunities. Alongside this, there were 106% more applicants battling it out for every job than there was a year ago.

The job board analysed its data from June 2020 and compared the findings with May 2020 and June 2019 to see how the job market is fairing right now. It reveals that the cities that saw the biggest, and above-average, increases in applications last month (when comparing month-on-month data) include:

  1. Leicester +47.6%
  2. Nottingham +45.9%
  3. Brighton +43.6%
  4. Leeds +43.6%
  5. Liverpool +42.4%
  6. Cardiff +41.2%
  7. Sheffield +39.4%
  8. Southampton _38.6%
  9. Birmingham +35.8%
  10. Newcastle +34.1%

In addition to this, the industries which saw the biggest rises in job applications month-on-month include sales (82.5%), recruitment (66.2%), design (60%), marketing (56.8%), administration (56.5%), accounting and finance (49.5%), education (44.2%), property (43.1%), charity (41.2%), leisure/tourism (38.3%).

When looking at average applications per vacancy in June compared to a year ago, it appears that the most competitive locations to find a job in right now are Bristol (202.6% more applications per vacancy), Edinburgh (165.5% more), Brighton (149.9% more), Southampton (148.1% more) and Portsmouth (122.2% more).

They also rose the most in sales (290.9%), design (279.2%), customer service (232.2%), recruitment (225.9%), marketing (210.1%), engineering (202.5%), retail (199.1%), accounting and finance (184.2%), automotive (173.2%) and agriculture (171.9%).

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments on the findings: “The rise in applications will be welcome news to organisations that have struggled to source top talent in recent years. However, the sad reality is that hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to look for a new role because of the pandemic. Competition for these jobs is intensifying and businesses need to be sensitive of the situation and remember that employer branding is still important. Try to give constructive feedback, communicate your hiring timeline and be as honest and open as possible with candidates.”

CV-Library’s data also reveals that while job numbers are slowly picking back up month-on-month, increasing by 31.3% in June, they are still 54.4% lower than they were a year ago. Alongside this, when looking at average salaries, it appears that pay dropped by 3.7% in June (month-on-month). It also dropped by 2.8% in Scotland, 1.7% in the South East and 1.4% in the East Midlands.

The industries that have seen the biggest drop in jobs compared to last year include catering (down 91.2%), design (down 84.5%), administration (down 82.5%), media (down 81.2%), sales (down 80.8%), recruitment (down 77.9%), retail (down 76.9%), customer service (down 74.9%), automotive (down 73.1%) and marketing (down 72.6%).

Biggins continues: “As lockdown restrictions started to ease in June, we saw a number of different industries return to the workplace and this helped to instil confidence back into businesses. However, we still have a long way to go until job numbers return to normal levels. The fact that average salaries have dropped isn’t overly surprising, particularly as many organisations have struggled with their breakeven point during the pandemic.

“While most professionals still say that salary is the most important factor to them when looking for a new role, we’re also seeing that more workers want flexibility and job security too. As we can see from our data, lower wages certainly aren’t putting people off applying, but businesses will need to accommodate to their changing needs.”

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