Coronavirus and UK Job Postings Through May 15: Data from Indeed
Job postings remain well down but appear to have broadly stabilised.
This post is updated as of 15th May 2020. We will continue to update these trends regularly as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labour market.
Job postings on Indeed UK continue to run at less than half of last year’s volumes, but the trend has broadly stabilised. Data up to 15th May show overall job postings down -57% on last year, little-changed from -56% the previous week and -54% a fortnight ago.
New job postings (those on Indeed for seven days or less) have taken an even larger hit, running -71% below last year’s trend as of 15th May. That remains a slower pace of decline than the nadir of -77% seen in mid-April, suggesting some degree of stabilisation, albeit the drop is slightly sharper than a week ago (-68%). New job postings will be a key leading indicator of the labour market in coming weeks, as more clarity emerges on when many sectors of the economy will be able to reopen.
Healthcare jobs continue to hold up best
Unsurprisingly, healthcare occupations continue to see the smallest declines. Nursing jobs are running just -5% down on last year.
Sectors such as food preparation & service, hospitality and tourism and beauty & wellness continue to see the largest declines in job postings relative to last year, with questions remaining as to when those sectors will be able to reopen and under what conditions.
Scotland has seen the biggest hit in job postings
As has been the case over recent weeks, the largest decline in job postings is in Scotland (-66%). Certain lockdown restrictions were eased last week in England, but the Scottish government has opted to maintain tight restrictions a little longer, which could mean a slightly longer wait for more new job opportunities to emerge north of the border. It is likely that the severity of the downturn in Scotland partly reflects its relatively high share of jobs directly exposed to shut down sectors. At the other end of the scale, London and the East of England have seen the slowest declines, albeit with job postings continuing to run at less than half of last year’s volumes.
We will continue to 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 15 May 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 15 May 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 15 May (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.