Lockdown has led to vacancies almost dropping by half

Since the lockdown was implemented last month, the number of job vacancies has dropped by almost half.

This is according to research from the Institue for Employment Studies (IES) funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and with data analysed by Adzuna, that discovered the number of job vacancies has dropped by 42 per cent since the lockdown began. This being the largest monthly job decrease in vacancies posted in 20 years.

The two worst-hit parts in the UK are Scotland (down 49 per cent) and London (down 44 per cent). When you look closer at the data you can see why these two areas have been hit so badly.

Five areas in Scotland have witnessed a decrease in the number of vacancies posted, including Edinburgh, altogether falling by 58 per cent. South-East London alone is also down by 50 per cent.

The data shows that not just vacancies of job sectors which were “shut down” last month have dropped. Hospitality and catering have fallen by 70 per cent, with HR roles decreasing by 60 per cent.

Tony Wilson, director of the IES, said:

This data paints a stark and detailed picture of how the jobs market has been rocked over the last month.  These impacts are far greater than anything we’ve seen before and are affecting all places and nearly all parts of the economy.

At the same time though, there are still nearly half a million job openings, with vacancies holding up in health and social care in particular.  So we need to keep working to support those who are out of work and looking for work to find those jobs.

The continued lockdown is justified and necessary, and if it eases during May and June then we should expect to see vacancies start to rise again.  But we need to start planning for that recovery now, with a ‘Cobra for Jobs’ to bring together those inside and outside government and ensure that the country can get back to work as quickly as possible.

The IES looked at real-time vacancy data to collect these results.