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UK Jobs: Lockdown takes hold with vacancies stagnating

by LLB staff reporter
30th Nov 20 2:03 pm

The UK’s second national lockdown has already started to impact jobs with hiring showing signs of slowing down, with just a 2% week-on-week increase in the number of roles advertised for the week ending 22nd November. That’s according to the latest real-time statistics from the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology.

Uncertainty begins to impact hiring but IT and Finance disciplines buck trend

Broadbean’s data reveals that, despite the positive jobs growth that was seen in the immediate aftermath of the second national lockdown – with the number of roles advertised in the week ending 8th November up by 16% – by the middle of the month this fell sharply to just a 2% rise. This demonstrates not only an increase in uncertainty amongst hirers, but also the impact that the shutdown of some sectors has once again had.

Despite this, however, some specialisms remain buoyant with demand for Insurance & Finance, and ICT professionals both up week on week (22% and 11% respectively). The sharp rise in requirements for insurance and finance staff can be attributed, no doubt, to the large numbers of organisations seeking support to navigate applications for business grants and furlough payments.

With many companies returning to remote working, the need for additional tech resources to manage this process has translated into increased demand for IT specialists once again. In sharp contrast, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the Leisure, Sports & Tourism arena experienced the sharpest contraction in vacancies with a 71% fall week on week.

London sees sharp fall in jobs following lockdown

While hiring in the Capital remains stable with Broadbean’s data revealing a marginal week on week fall in vacancies of 0.6%, when compared to pre lockdown levels numbers are down 30% on the week before the national lockdown, indicating that the uptick that the City was experiencing has been impacted. In contrast, demand for staff in Oxford has increased 16% week on week amidst news of the City’s University vaccine breakthrough.

Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology said, “While the prospect of a second lockdown was certainly going to impact hiring activity, our data in the immediate aftermath suggested that many employers were operating business as usual with vacancies rising.

“However, with our latest statistics revealing that demand for staff has started to stagnate, albeit at a relatively low level, the coming weeks will prove vital in establishing the impact the latest lockdown has had. However, with some sectors remaining resilient and with Boris Johnson announcing that lockdown will end as planned on the 2nd December allowing many sectors to reopen once again, we are hopeful that this is just a short blip we are experiencing.”

“And while we are certainly not out of the woods yet, with the furlough scheme firmly in place until the end of the financial year and huge steps forwards in terms of a mass vaccine rollout, the future for the UKs employment market looks far more positive as we draw towards the end of the year.”

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