Recruitment up as lockdown eases

Two reports this week suggest hiring is beginning to bounce back as the lockdown eases.



Job vacancies in the UK surged last week, with the number of positions on offer at 100% of the level seen in February 2020 and up 3% on the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics and job search engine Adzuna.

Jobs search engine Adzuna says this is the highest proportion of online job adverts observed since 6th March 2020, before the first national lockdown was imposed across the UK.

It says the volume of online job adverts increased in 16 out of the 28 categories, fell in 11 and was unchanged in one. The largest increases since 1 April 2021 were in “legal” and “catering and hospitality”, which rose by 12 percentage points and 10 percentage points to 81% and 58% of their February 2020 average levels respectively. This is the highest proportion of online job adverts for “catering and hospitality” seen since 20 March 2020. Another notable increase was recorded in “healthcare and social care”, rising by 8 percentage points. However, this increase was partly driven by a large number of new adverts from a single company.

The largest decrease since 1 April 2021 was in “travel and tourism”, which fell by 16 percentage points to 84% of its February 2020 average level. This substantial dip follows the gradual increase seen in this category over the last few months.

The analysis shows that there are currently more than 900,000 advertised roles, the second consecutive week the milestone has been passed. Scotland saw the biggest rise in job postings, followed by London while Northern Ireland saw the largest decrease in jobs advertised.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “This is the healthiest hiring environment we have seen in a year.”

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at the EY Item Club, comments: “It does appear that the opening up of the economy and marked increase in business confidence is lifting near-term employment plans.”

The statistics follow Morgan McKinley’s Quarterly London Employment Monitor which revealed that London’s Financial Services industry has returned to hiring growth in 2021, with overall job numbers and professionals looking for new roles in good health compared to the previous quarter. It showed:

– 70% quarter-on-quarter increase in jobs available
– 50% increase in March 2021 in jobs available compared to March 2020
– 4.8% quarter-on-quarter increase in job seekers
– 18% increase quarter-on-quarter salary change

Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UK said: “Financial Services has had a strong start to 2021. As the vaccine rollout continues apace and the road out of lockdown clears, we are seeing the sector recover at a faster rate than anticipated. We expect this recovery and confidence to continue as the country unlocks and normal working life resumes…Banks are back in expansion mode with a strong uplift in appetite for hiring experienced professionals.”

Hakan added: “Questions remain around the impact on working culture, but it is clear that businesses have adapted well to flexible working. Time will tell whether we see people coming back to work full time or if some sort of hybrid model will emerge.”

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