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Coronavirus and UK Job Postings Through 2nd October: Data from Indeed

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Job postings trend continues to gradually recover, but food and hospitality hiring intentions slump.

This post is updated as of 2nd October 2020. We will continue to update these trends regularly as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labour market. 

The job postings on Indeed UK showed another slight improvement last week. The gap in trend versus last year was -46% as of 2nd October, narrowing from -47% the previous week. That was the eighth successive week of improvements. 

Since the nadir of -61% seen on 4th June, we’ve seen a steady, albeit slow, recovery in the job postings trend. Sectoral variations over that period have been marked though. 

Construction, cleaning, manufacturing and childcare on the rise  

The strongest improvement in trend since 4th June has been in construction (+51.0ppts). The construction sector has enjoyed a bounce in activity since the easing of lockdown, helped by strong house building. Next has cleaning & sanitation (+43.7ppts), as stricter hygiene standards have helped boost demand for cleaners. Production & manufacturing (+40.0ppts) and childcare (+39.3ppts) have also seen strong improvements. Sectors with exposure to the distribution and ecommerce side of the economy, like loading & stocking (+37.3ppts) and driving (+36.1ppts), have fared relatively well. 

At the other end of the scale, pharmacy and accounting have seen deteriorating trends. Sectors like personal care & home health and nursing performed relatively resiliently through the lockdown, but have subsequently seen only marginal improvements in trend. 

New job postings in food prep and hospitality on the wane  

Amid calls from some MPs to scrap the 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants, data on new job postings (those on Indeed for seven days or less) in food preparation & service and hospitality & tourism point to a downturn in hiring intentions since the new restrictions came into place. Having dropped as low as -95% down on last year during full lockdown, new postings in these sectors had been recovering gradually through the reopening period and as the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme provided support during August. 

However, those trends had been faltering since the start of September, after the discount scheme expired, and appear to have deteriorated further since the curfew came into force. Between Super Saturday and the start of August, the inflow of new postings in food prep & service rebounded by 90%, but since the end of August it has fallen by -26% (and is down -11% since the start of 10pm curfew). Hospitality & tourism jobs had recovered 99% from reopening to the start of August, but have dropped -61% since the end of that month and are down -9% since the imposition of curfew. 

London remains the laggard

The weakest job postings trend continues to be seen in London, followed by the South East and Scotland. The North East is closest to last year’s trend, followed by Wales and the East Midlands. 

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 2 October 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 2 October 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 2 October (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.