Coronavirus and UK Job Postings Through April 24: Data from Indeed
Job postings down 53% on last year’s trend, but flow of new postings stabilising.
This post is updated as of 24th April 2020. We will continue to update these trends regularly as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labour market.
The UK labour market continues to be hit hard by coronavirus. Job postings on Indeed, one of the most timely indicators, were down 53% on last year’s trend as of 24th April. The impact of shutdowns on the UK economy was highlighted by survey data last week showing a record decline in business activity across the services and manufacturing sectors and widespread shedding of staff. The combination of layoffs, furloughs and curtailed hiring intentions will feed through into a marked deterioration in official labour market figures over the coming months.
The UK remains one of the hardest-hit countries in our data, with only New Zealand and Australia seeing bigger falls in job postings on last year’s trend among the countries we looked at. Both countries are now starting to ease their strict lockdowns, having suppressed virus cases to relatively low levels. In Australia, there are early signs of stabilisation in job posting trends.
More positively, data on the flow of new job postings (those on Indeed for seven days or less) suggest signs of stabilisation. New job postings have risen by around one-quarter from their Easter slump over the past week or so, echoing trends seen in a number of other countries.
Nursing, medical and care jobs holding up best
Looking at the data by occupation, healthcare jobs continue to see the smallest declines relative to last year’s trend. Nursing jobs are down just 9%, while medical technician and personal care & home health roles are down 19%.
At the other end of the scale, sectors where activity has largely ceased unsurprisingly show the largest declines, led by food preparation & service, hospitality & tourism and beauty & wellness.
Regional impact varies
Though no regions have escaped big declines in job postings, some have seen more severe falls than others. Job postings in Scotland and Northern Ireland are down more than 60% last year. London continues to register the smallest decline, though postings are nevertheless down 47%.
We will provide regular updates on these trends as the situation evolves.
To measure the trends in total job postings, we calculated the 7-day moving average of the number of UK job postings on Indeed. We indexed each day’s 7-day moving average to the start of that year (1 February 2020 = 100 for 2020 data, and so on), or another date if specified on the chart.
For each country we report how the trend in total job postings this year differs from last year, in order to focus on the recent changes in labour market conditions due to COVID-19. For example: if job postings for a country increased 30% from 1 February 2019 to 24 April 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 24 April 2020, then the index would have risen from 100 to 130 in 2019 and 100 to 120 in 2020. The year-to-date trend in job postings would therefore be down 7.7% on 24 April (120 is 7.7% below 130) in 2020 relative to 2019.
Information is based on publicly available information on the Indeed UK website (and other countries named in this post), limited to the UK (and those countries), is not a projection of future events, and includes both paid and unpaid job solicitations.
Jack is an Economist on the Indeed Hiring Lab who focuses on the UK/Ireland labour market. Before joining Indeed, Jack was a senior economist at Nationwide Building Society and prior to that at global information provider IHS Markit. He holds an MSc in finance and economic policy from SOAS, University of London and a BSc in economics and finance from the University of York.