Job report 2020

The last six months have been a turbulent time for businesses across the UK. Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, we were faced with an extensive national lockdown that threatened jobs across the country.  

While our job market data doesn’t paint a rosy picture for the UK job market, it does show that the economy was on the road to recovery during Q3. Indeed, our key findings include:  

  • Advertised jobs increased quarter-on-quarter, though they’ve yet to return to pre-pandemic levels 
  • Job applications have also increased quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year  
  • Application per vacancy ratio has dropped quarter-on-quarter 
  • Average salaries have dropped quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year 

Job vacancies continue to grow but no sector has recovered to pre-pandemic levels  

The locations which have seen the biggest growth in vacancies include:  

  1. Leeds (up 113.6%) 
  2. Leicester (up 105%) 
  3. Birmingham (up 98.2%) 
  4. Nottingham (up 95.8%) 
  5. Bristol (up 94%) 

However, despite this significant growth in job postings, the number of roles advertised between July and September is still 4.3% lower than at the start of the year. The areas that have experienced the smallest growth in vacancies are London (up 52.1%), Portsmouth (up 60.2%) and Hull (up 68.8%).  

When looking at industry data, the following sectors saw the biggest increase in job postings:  

  1. Distribution (up 261.7%)  
  2. Construction (up 213.4%)  
  3. Media (up 191.2%)  
  4. Legal (up 172.8%) 
  5. Hospitality (up 169%) 

Unsurprisingly, distribution tops this list as online shopping has continued to rise in popularity since the start of lockdown in March. However, it’s interesting to see that vacancies in the hospitality industry grew so significantly in Q3, despite it being so heavily affected by coronavirus. 

This increase is likely due to the easing of lockdown restrictions over summer and the introduction of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.  

What this means for businesses: This increase in vacancies is a sign that organisations across the country are beginning to recover. However, it will be a while before businesses can hire at the same rate as they were before. 

Job applications have risen quarter-on-quarter 

Job applications have also grown substantially quarter-on-quarter. Indeed, our data reveals that there were 33.9% more applications in Q3 than in Q2. What’s more, this is still 9.2% higher than during the same period last year.  

The locations which have seen the biggest growth in applications quarter-on-quarter include: 

  1. Nottingham (up 46.7%) 
  2. Liverpool (up 44.5%) 
  3. Birmingham (up 44.2%) 
  4. Manchester (up 41.3%)  
  5. Southampton (up 40%) 

Furthermore, the industries which saw the greatest increase in job applications quarter-on-quarter were:  

  1. Administration (up 90.2%) 
  2. Recruitment (up 85.5%) 
  3. Marketing (up 78.6%)  
  4. Sales (up 77.7%)  
  5. Telecoms (up 74.6%) 

However, not all sectors witnessed an increase in applications. Indeed, agriculture (down 32.3%), social care (down 5.5%), hospitality (down 4.3%) and distribution (down 3.7%) experienced a drop in applications quarter-on-quarter. 

What this means for businesses: As the end of the Job Retention Scheme loomed during Q3, it’s no surprise that there were more applications to job vacancies. Indeed, while some professionals were made redundant, those placed on furlough may have applied for new opportunities in anticipation of the scheme ending in October.  

However, this influx of candidates makes it much easier for businesses to secure top talent. As such, you may be able to hire a professional that wouldn’t have been looking for a role under different circumstances.