Initially slow to bounce back, new research confirms that the number of job vacancies in London has now returned to levels seen before the pandemic.

Confirming the recovery of the labour market, new data by Indeed shows that financial services and the hospitality sector in London has bolstered job vacancies.

Research showed that, following the immediate onset of the pandemic, vacancies in the capital fell by over half (-54).

However, since then, job postings have returned back to pre-pandemic levels with postings now 2 per cent above numbers in February 2020.

Overall, London’s jobs recovery still significantly lags behind the UK average, which stands at 15 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic level.

Food service and arts and entertainment sectors have seen the biggest growth in hiring following the reopening of hospitality and the recent removal of capacity limits in theatres and live music venues.

Food preparation and service jobs have risen by 589 per cent compared to this time last year, while arts and entertainment jobs are up 169 per cent.

Jobs in professional and financial services are also driving the hiring spree in the capital, with jobs in banking and finance up 161 per cent year on year, insurance jobs rising 108 per cent, and software and development roles increasing by 102 per cent. 

Legal roles also saw a significant rise in job vacancies, rising by 92 per cent, whilst tourism – although not currently running at normal speed – has also risen by 69 per cent.

Jack Kennedy, UK Economist at global job site Indeed, comments:

The pandemic caused a profound impact on London’s jobs market. 

While last summer’s easing of restrictions and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme led to an uptick in hospitality roles, the recovery was minor and short lived and it was only after the vaccine programme picked up pace and the government announced its roadmap out of lockdown in February that companies ramped up hiring. 

The slow recovery is partly due to London’s position as a professional services powerhouse, which means it has a higher number of remote roles relative to other parts of the country. When footfall in the city declined so too did the fates of many businesses and ultimately employment opportunities.  

It was critical that London bounced back and the unwinding of Covid restrictions seems to have done the trick. The removal of restrictions has enabled many of its entertainment venues to start welcoming larger capacities, and in turn provide much-needed footfall to the food and drink sector.

It is not just the hospitality industry driving hiring, however, with some of the capital’s biggest and best-known professional and financial services institutions leading the charge.