New research suggests that UK hiring levels have returned to pre-COVID figures although this is not likely to offset the rising levels of unemployment that are to come now that the furlough scheme has ended.

According to new research by LinkedIn, a professional networking site, hiring may have hit a ceiling as official figures of unemployment are growing more rapidly than hiring levels in the UK.

This is despite the hiring levels in the UK currently reaching 8.5 per cent, the same levels as before the pandemic started.

However, naturally, competition for roles are up from this time last year. LinkedIn’s data shows a 64 per cent increase in applications per role in comparison to October 2019.

The employees that report feeling least confident about their jobs are ones who work in sectors that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 including Recreation and Travel and Media and Entertainment.

Interestingly, the data further reveals that avoiding lockdown does not improve the national hiring levels in the long run. The data cites Sweden as a country whose hiring levels is lagging behind other European countries despite avoiding a lockdown to preserve their economy.

However, this report also outlines expresses what industries and skills are growing despite COVID-19.

Currently, there is a significant demand in the UK for project managers, customer service roles and software engineers. Additionally, the most sought after skills include digital marketing, data analysis and programming. LinkedIn data has forecast that the technology sector will add 150 million jobs over the world in the next five years.

Josh Graff, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, said:

As the furlough scheme draws to a close, there is huge anxiety across the country about what is going to happen to people’s jobs. Many people working in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, such as Travel, Entertainment and Hospitality, have seen their lives and livelihoods completely devastated this year and are questioning what to do next.

Focusing on transferable skills can help open up a variety of roles that people may not have previously considered. Skills can be applied to different jobs or industries, creating new employment opportunities. Likewise, investing time in developing new skills, being proactive in your job search and engaging your professional network is key to finding a new job quickly.


*This data has been taken from LinkedIn’s Workplace Confidence Index which was a study of over 4,000 UK LinkedIn members.






Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.