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Coronavirus and UK Job Postings Through May 29: Data from Indeed

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Overall job postings remain down sharply on last year, but real estate sector sees pick up in hiring.

This post is updated as of 29th 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 remain well down on last year’s trend, as coronavirus continues to afflict the British labour market. Overall postings were down -61% on last year’s trend as of 29th May, compared with -54% at the start of May. In contrast to improvements we’ve seen in certain other countries such as the US and Australia, which have passed their nadirs, the UK is taking longer to recover.  

Upturn in real estate hiring as estate agents reopen

Looking at the sectoral data, relatively few occupations saw an improvement in hiring activity during the latest week. Of those that did, the strongest rise was in real estate (up 4.1 percentage points). As the housing market gets moving again following the lifting of curbs on estate agents, more jobs are becoming available. The average salary for real estate sector jobs was just under £26,000 in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.  

In second place was nursing (up 2.5 percentage points), followed by cleaning & sanitation, customer service and security & public safety. Some of the hiring in those categories is likely to reflect the need to adjust to new social distancing guidelines, as more types of business are allowed to reopen. 

At the other end of the scale, the largest weekly declines in hiring activity trends were in the therapy, medical technician, physicians & surgeons, community & social service and personal care & home health categories. These have generally been among the most resilient sectors during the coronavirus crisis, but the latest data suggests hiring in these areas may have peaked.

Scotland continues to see weakest trend in job postings

Regional patterns remain similar to those we have seen in recent weeks, with Scotland seeing the sharpest decline in its job postings trend relative to last year (down -69%) and London the least marked (-56%). 

New job postings continue to run at depressed levels

Though the flow of new job postings (those on Indeed for seven days or less) has been broadly stable over the last month or so, the trend remained -71% down on last year as of 29th May. That was unchanged from two weeks previously. With more sectors of the economy reopening in June, an improvement in the flow of new job opportunities may begin to bring the UK labour market back to life. 

We will continue to provide regular updates on these trends as the situation evolves.

Methodology

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 29 May 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 29 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 29 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.