Within a week, job recovery falls as there has been a 7.6 per cent decrease in the number of new job adverts posted.

According to new research by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), last week (5th-11th October 2020) saw the first fall in active job adverts in the UK since July. ONS figures also recently showed the drop in employment levels which coincided with the rise of unemployment and redundancies in the UK.

There were 1.28 million job postings during between 5th-11th October which was a decrease of one per cent from the previous week.

Similarly, last week also saw only 128,000 new job adverts being posted to job sites which was a decrease of 7.6 per cent from the week prior. The worst hit industry was the hospitality sector which saw almost a 20 per cent decrease in active job adverts for bar staff (-17.3 per cent), waitresses and waiters (-10.8 per cent), chefs (-7.2 per cent) and catering and bar managers (-6.7 per cent).

Yesterday (15th October 2020), despite the JSS scheme put into place to limit redundancies, Marstons, the pub and brewery group, announced that they were cutting 2,150 furloughed pub jobs due to the 10pm curfew and restrictions in Liverpool. This follows the Government’s recent announcements regarding tougher lockdown restrictions in the UK including the tier system which took effect on the 14th October, forcing many businesses to temporarily close .

The hospitality sector was worst hit in areas of Northern Ireland which saw a 16.7 per cent decrease in active job adverts and Scotland, which saw a 9.7 per cent decrease. This comes after Scotland announced that bars and restaurants were to be closed across the central belt to limit the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The regional levels in the UK that were hit the hardest in terms of a decrease in active job postings were North Northamptonshire (12.6 per cent decrease), South Nottinghamshire (8.6 per cent decrease) and Ards & North Down in Northern Ireland (8.7 per cent decrease).

Despite this, the number of job adverts is still higher than the spring and summer months. Last week saw a 33 per cent rise in job postings in comparison to the second week of July, three months earlier. There was also a reported rise in job adverts for health roles including podiatrists (33 per cent rise), medical technicians (8.5 per cent rise) and speech and language therapists (7.2 per cent rise).

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

With Covid cases rising and further restrictions being imposed, a pause in the strong trend of recovery we have seen over the summer is perhaps not a surprise, though it’s deeply unwelcome.

While this change is a concern, we expect it to be a pause on the path to recovery rather than a return to the jobs market of the first lockdown. Businesses have made a lot of progress on making workplaces Covid-secure and on effective home working – so hiring and onboarding online is becoming much more common.

We do need to ensure that the right package of economic support is in place to help the regions and sectors hit by local lockdowns – including supporting temporary workers and the supply chains that support them.

Matthew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi, a labour market analytics firm, said:

It’s been a slightly unusual couple of weeks on the data front with some unsurprisingly mixed indicators coming out of the various formal channels due to different reporting periods. Whilst ONS cited overall UK vacancy levels had increased again in the July to September period (from 436,000 to 488,000), we saw rising unemployment figures yet again this month to 4.5 per cent (from June to August), indicating that the transition from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to the Job Support Scheme may be starting to translate to job losses.

Our last 2 weeks of job postings data (which is a more recent market indicator) suggest a slowdown in overall, UK-wide recruitment marketing activity. However, notably a number of ‘household’ retailers have more ‘Active’ postings than for the same period in the previous 2 years and the key worker sectors are still very active. It’s also worth highlighting that only Scotland and Wales saw an increase in total ‘New’ postings over the period, with a 5.77 per cent and 5.45 per cent rise respectively.

*This data was collected through the Jobs Recovery Tracker which was produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi and the data was collected between the 28th September and 11th October 2020.