Home Brexit Brexit worker drought: Job applications tumble in May despite uptick in vacancies

Brexit worker drought: Job applications tumble in May despite uptick in vacancies

by LLB staff reporter
18th Jun 21 9:59 am

Vacancy numbers across retail and logistics increased in May, but both sectors are facing a talent drought as Brexit and Covid impacts worker availability. That’s according to the latest real-time statistics from the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology.

Demand for retail staff up, but applications drop

According to Broadbean’s data, vacancies across retail increased in the three months to May as the easing of Covid restrictions continued, but the number of people applying for roles fell during the same period. Retail jobs saw a 55% increase from March to May, while at the same time the number of Applications per Vacancy (APV) fell 52%.

This decline in applications has been noted month on month despite the UK economy beginning to see signs of recovery, with APV levels down 24% from March to April and -37% from April to May.

Logistics applicant numbers fall

Broadbean’s data also indicates that while the number of vacancies across Logistics, Distribution and Supply Chain were up 79% in May when compared to pre-pandemic levels in January 2020, the number of people applying for these roles fell 76% for the same time frame.

This has been a consistent trend for 2021 so far, with Application per Vacancy numbers dropping each month for the industry since January, while vacancy numbers more than doubled (up 133%) from January 2021 to May.

As Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology explained, this decline in application numbers is a worry post-pandemic and post-Brexit trend.

Fourlis said, “The optimism in the UK market is encouraging and is bouncing back to a degree that many might not have expected. However, we’re experiencing a talent drought at the moment that is being impacted by multiple issues.

“An on-going reluctance to leave the security of current roles is certainly one factor that’s hitting application numbers, but for industries like retail where job losses were reported during the height of the pandemic, the reality is many people have left for other, more secure, sectors.

“What we’re also seeing is the impact of Brexit really playing out across those industries that have historically relied on international talent. The decline in applications for Logistics, for example, will no doubt have been exacerbated by the UK’s exit from the Bloc.”

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