UK workers after fresh start in 2021 with almost 9 in 10 looking for new job

Working on a laptop

A new survey of over 5000 UK workers by leading job board Totaljobs, has discovered an astounding 89% of people are currently looking for a job.

The nation’s search for work spans across employment statuses. Alongside the unemployed, 84% of those currently in employment say they are applying for new roles as well.

Over three quarters (77%) of respondents started looking for a role in December and a further 1 in 10 (11%) have said they will start looking this month.

The events of 2020 have clearly put people’s careers into sharp perspective, resulting in many looking to shake things up in 2021.

Over a third (36%) are looking for a fresh start and 10% of respondents want a change of location. Of those, over half (52%) are looking to relocate within the UK.

However, the change of location isn’t just domestic, with 24% looking within the EU as a possible reaction to Brexit, and 14% looking outside the EU altogether.

Developing skills in lockdown
Despite lockdown’s impact on businesses across the UK, 1 in 10 (10%) workers still received training this year.
On top of this, nearly a third (30%) of respondents have used their time during the pandemic productively to further their development by picking up a new skill or qualification.

People have also used their time to help others, with 14% having done volunteering, charity, or community work over the past year.

The impact of 2020
The turbulent twelve months workers have just endured still continue to play heavily on people’s minds as they enter 2021, with 66% stating they continue to fear for their job security.

The majority (57%) of people think it will take them up to 3 months to find a new job and over a quarter (26%) feel it’s likely they will become unemployed in 2021.

45% of workers in the UK said they don’t think they will work in the same sector in 2021 as they did in 2020 and 1 in 5 (18%) said they are looking for work in a more secure industry.

A change of plans
Lockdown has affected everyone, as even those expecting to retire have had to change their plans, with 35% of respondents who were planning to retire in the next 3 to 5 years claiming they now won’t, and a staggering 60% saying it’s because they can’t afford it.

5% of people who weren’t looking to retire in the next three to five years now will, with a third (32%) having lost their jobs and can’t find new ones.

Jon Wilson, CEO of Totaljobs, commented: “2020 was a tough year for the jobs market, and while we’ve seen increased activity on Totaljobs from businesses actively recruiting, for those looking for work, the challenge of having to stand out from the crowd remains.

“That’s why it’s such a positive sign that we’re seeing so many people picking up extra skills and qualifications during lockdown. This shows a willingness to keep their progression on track or learn new, transferable skills required to be employable in a different industry.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen workers setting new standards for their employment conditions. The rise of remote working has seen candidates move around the country or even relocate outside the UK to find work. The coming months will reveal how much more of an impact the pandemic and Brexit will have on people’s attitudes towards their jobs, their location and their employment terms.

“While the full impact of the pandemic will remain unclear for the time being, what we do know is that workers have experienced a huge strain on their working lives during 2020. It is perhaps no surprise that they will be seeking a fresh start and new opportunities in the months to come.”

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