UK jobs market stabilising in first week of lockdown

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The UK’s job market improved in the first week of the second lockdown despite an initial drop in the week leading up to the Prime Minister’s announcement. That’s according to the latest real-time statistics from global network of job boards, Broadbean Technology.

Further business support boosts optimism

According to the data, despite vacancies dropping 13% in the week leading up to Boris Johnson’s announcement of a second lockdown, the number of jobs advertised in the week ending 8th November increased 16%. This signalled the highest number of vacancies reported in the UK in five weeks and is indicative of the Government’s extension of business support schemes boosting confidence.

Broadbean’s statistics also revealed an uptick in hiring across ‘business as usual’ job functions which indicates that organisations are on the whole optimistic despite the second lockdown. Week on week the number of administration and customer service roles grew 12%, with sales and trading also up 12%.

This optimism is also apparent in the decreases that the data highlights in the number of applications per vacancy (APV) for roles that saw a spike in numbers during the height of the first lockdown. The number of people applying for administration and secretarial roles dropped 63% in October when compared to June, with an average of 108 applications per vacancy. This is indicative of greater job security being noted in light of increased business optimism and marks a return to almost pre-Covid levels which in February stood at 100 applicants per vacancy.

Tier 2 cities see uptick in vacancies

The data also revealed that those cities under greater restrictions ahead of the national lockdown reported a spike in hiring in the week ending 8th November. Having been put into Tier 2 restrictions before the Prime Minister’s announcement of a second lockdown, London and Manchester reported a 24% and 16% spike in jobs week on week respectively.

Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology commented: “While a second national lockdown is certainly going to bring further challenges to the UK economy, our data shows that, on the whole, businesses are remaining relatively confident. The uptick in hiring activity highlights that employers remain resilient where possible and shows that the additional support being provided by the Government is working in some way.

“It also appears that the adoption of remote and flexible working has remained in place since the first lockdown began, allowing businesses to swiftly adapt to the restrictions that came into force at the beginning of November. The drop in the number of people applying for roles each month is also a positive sign that the country is weathering the storm as best as it can. With fewer applications per vacancy in roles that were hard hit by redundancies and a reduction in job numbers in lockdown one, we’re confident that vacancies in the UK won’t be as hard-hit this time around.”

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