As the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme draws closer, around one in ten workers are urgently looking for a new job.

A new study released by Indeed, a job site, shows that just over one in 10 workers (11 per cent) who are either furloughed or not currently working are seeking a new role urgently.

Although this is still a sizeable amount, the research suggests that the number of job-seekers is not as high as initially predicted.

This comes after recent ONS figures displayed a significant recovery in the labour market, with the current number of job vacancies surpassing those in the pre-pandemic period.

However, this data also showed a growing problem where the demand for labour is currently exceeding the supply of candidates.

The lack of urgency among job-seekers to find a new role could be exacerbating this problem, Indeed’s research has warned.

Overall, over two-fifths (41 per cent) of those still on furlough and over half of people (56 per cent) who are not currently in work are not searching for a new job.

When asked why this was the case, almost three-quarters (71 per cent) stated they were not urgently job-hunting as they expected to return to their pre-pandemic job after the furlough scheme ends in September.

A further one in 10 (12 per cent) people on furlough indicated they were not yet comfortable to return to in-person work due to COVID-19 whilst six per cent stated they had caring responsibilities.

However, the study also showed that, due to financial security, many people who are job-hunting are being pickier about the roles they are applying for.

Almost a fifth of people (17 per cent) stated they could still manage without a job due their spouse or partner being employed.

Jack Kennedy, UK economist at the global job site, Indeed, stated:

Many employers are desperate for staff, but a significant portion of the workforce appear surprisingly relaxed about finding work, preferring to wait for more job opportunities to emerge. 

Even with the end of the furlough scheme looming, most are feeling optimistic about returning to their workplace and so are in no rush to find a new job. But with almost two million people still on the furlough job retention scheme, some may soon learn they will not be going back and will therefore need to start actively searching. 

The financial cushions enjoyed by some unemployed workers will also eventually erode, and will create a greater sense of urgency among those currently out of work but still happy to sit on the sidelines. 

For now, amid a backdrop of robust labour demand and a strong sellers’ market, most people seem to feel they can be choosy about their next job move.


*Indeed surveyed 5,000 adults aged 18-64 from July 12-20, 2020 to gather these results.