The easing of lockdown restrictions has been considered to improve hiring prospects, with the number of job adverts in the UK increasing to their highest level since the onset of the pandemic. 

New data released by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) demonstrates that outlook for the labour market is improving, with postings for job adverts reaching their highest level since last March.

In the last week alone, 140,000 new job adverts were posted, reaching 1.37 million active job adverts in the UK.

The week prior to this, the posting of job advertisements spiked to 181,000 which was the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.

The data found continued growth for roles in hospitality, indicating this sector is beginning to recover from social distancing regulations and the detrimental impact of COVID-19 on the industry. There were increases in active postings for bar (+7.6 per cent) and waiting staff (+3.8 per cent), leisure and sports managers (+4.4 per cent) and hotel and accommodation managers (+2.1 per cent) in the first week of April.

Also, high in demand were roles for electronics technicians (+7.0 per cent), mechanical engineers (+5.0 per cent) and electricians (+4.4 per cent).

Overall, the three best weeks for new job postings occurred since 8th March, suggesting a direct correlation between lockdown restrictions easing from the 12th April and hiring confidence.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), addressed the recovery in hiring confidence:

The busy barbers and pub gardens this week are a sign that large sections of our economy are getting going again – and this growing confidence is reflected in hiring activity.

The three best weeks for new job postings since the onset of the pandemic have come since the beginning of March. An increase in demand for hospitality roles as restaurants and pubs prepared to partially re-open their premises this week is particularly welcome news. With the vaccine rollout on schedule, businesses are increasingly confident this positive trend will continue. That will unlock investment and with it, new jobs.

However, Mr. Carberry warned that this sections of the UK may need further assistance when it comes to recruitment:

Not every sector or region of the country will recover at the same rate, and many people will need help finding a job or transitioning into a new industry. Data from Northern Ireland in particular is concerning – and businesses across the six counties will be looking to politicians from all sides to deliver clarity and stability to post-Brexit arrangements, so that they can invest with confidence.

Across the whole of the UK, governments and businesses now need to work together to help people find new roles in this developing recovery. As our tracker shows, the challenge is increasingly about getting people to jobs, not the supply of jobs overall. That means making sure the skills system works. Addressing feedback from businesses that the current apprenticeship levy system is making things worse not better must be a priority in Westminster, in particular.


*This research was taken from The Jobs Recovery Tracker which is produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi, using their Job Postings Analytics data which is harvested from job boards. Data was harvested between 29 March and 11 April 2021.