There is positive news for the UK’s labour market as the number of job adverts remain high and stable over the summer months as COVID-19 restrictions have phased out.

According to new research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the situation for job adverts in the UK looks promising – with 194,000 job adverts posted last week (12th-18th July).

This brings the total to 1.57 million active job postings in the UK with this number remaining stable since early June as employers sought to bring on new staff before the final COVID restrictions were lifted.

The capital experienced a steady increase in active job postings as people start to return to workplaces following Freedom Day.

Six out of the top ten areas for growth last week were London boroughs, including Brent (+3.7 per cent), Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham (+3.7 per cent), and Wandsworth (+3.2 per cent).

However, not all areas saw an uplift in this arena. Regional locations such as  Sunderland (-14.0 per cent), West Dunbartonshire (-11.2 per cent) and local parts of Northern Ireland saw a negative trend.

In direct response to the final stage of unlocking and people returning to offices, job adverts for childminders saw the largest increase.

This also had a negative impact on professions such as teaching and other educational professionals (-48.9 per cent) as schools have now broken up for the annual summer holidays. This also had a knock on effect on support roles such as school secretaries (-10.3 per cent).

Previous data has shown huge demand for jobs in the hospitality sector as restrictions eased.

However, growth in demand seems to have stabilised, with bar staff (+3.3 per cent), waiters and waitresses (+2.2 per cent) and chefs (+1.1 per cent) only seeing marginal increases in active job postings.

Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO of the REC, said:

Employer confidence has continued to grow over the past few weeks, and demand for staff remained high in anticipation of the final COVID restrictions being lifted. We have also started to see London’s jobs market kicking back into gear as the hospitality and retail sectors open up and more people return to offices in the capital.

But with demand so high, many businesses are really struggling to find the staff to fill vacancies. Employers need to consider their offer to candidates at times like these, and we are already starting to see wages rising in some sectors.

But businesses and individuals will also be concerned by government plans to raise National Insurance, the nation’s biggest jobs tax, at a time when many are still struggling. Raising NI would disproportionately affect temporary and low-paid workers, who can afford it the least.

Matthew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi, added that the data suggests “we can anticipate upwards pressure on wages and for increased government support to tackle key talent shortages.”


*The Jobs Recovery Tracker is produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi, using their Job Postings Analytics data which is harvested from tens of thousands of job boards. Data was harvested between 5 July and 18 July 2021.