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Coronavirus and UK Job Postings Through August 21: Data from Indeed

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Job postings trend continues to improve slowly, boosted by growth of lower-wage roles in services.

This post is updated as of 21st August 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 improve, with the gap relative to last year’s trend improving by 5 percentage points since a month ago. Last week was the second week running of improvements, boosted by rising demand for cleaners, construction workers, sports coaches, fitness instructors and food preparation and service workers, as well as doctors. That said, job postings still run far below last year’s levels: they are down -53% on last year’s trend as of 21st August, from -55% a week ago. 

Looking at the composition of job postings by wage tier, there has been more of a pick-up in the bottom and middle tiers in recent weeks. Lower wage jobs were hit harder in the initial phase of the crisis, but the gap versus higher wage jobs has been narrowing. This is likely to in part reflect the reopening of sectors like hospitality, leisure and consumer services which have high numbers of lower-paid services jobs, whereas employers’ appetite for new higher-paid staff may be being held back by elevated uncertainty.  

Rising demand for cleaners and other service workers

Looking at changes over the latest month, there has been a notable rise in cleaner vacancies. Having dropped as low as -64.6% below last year’s trend in mid-May, there has been a continual improvement in the job postings trend to -30.4%. The broader reopening of sectors and need to maintain workplace hygiene amid the pandemic is likely to have helped boost demand for cleaners.  

Construction workers, sports coaches and fitness instructors, food preparation & service and doctors also saw rising demand over the latest month. 

Looking at regional data, Scotland remains furthest below last year’s trend (-57.7%), followed by the South East (-55.5%) and London (-55.4%). Wales is closest to last year’s trend, albeit still down -41.4%. 

We will continue to provide regular updates on these trends as the situation evolves. We also host the data behind the postings trends plots on Github as downloadable CSV files. Typically, the site will be updated with the latest data one day after the respective Hiring Lab tracker is published.

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 21 August 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 21 August 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 21 August (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.