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Coronavirus and UK Job Postings Through 16 October: Data from Indeed

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Job postings recovery stalls as restrictions tighten across many parts of the UK.

This post is updated as of 16th October 2020. We will continue to update these trends regularly as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labour market. 

The job postings trend on Indeed UK was stable last week at -45%. Having bottomed out at -61% in early June, the recovery in job postings has been slow. With restrictions in many parts of the UK tightening in response to rising case numbers, headwinds to hiring are gathering strength.

Healthcare remains resilient  

Healthcare occupations continue to perform best at the sector level. Medical technician job postings are running 12.1% above last year’s trend, while nursing, physicians & surgeons and scientific research & development are modestly down on the year. Conversely, sectors like hospitality & tourism, food preparation & service and beauty & wellness remain particularly hard-hit. 

Warehouse and driving jobs on the rise; food and hospitality falter  

Shifting consumption patterns — as more spending is done online and less on face-to-face services — are reflected in the contrasting fortunes of certain sectors. New job postings in the driving and loading & stocking categories have been on the rise in recent weeks and are now slightly above last year’s trend. In the food preparation & service and hospitality & tourism categories on the other hand, new job postings have been faltering since the Eat Out to Help Out scheme finished at the end of August and since the imposition of a 10pm curfew in September. With a number of regions going into tighter lockdowns, including banning household mixing in indoor settings, pubs and restaurants are facing a rough winter. 

London remains furthest below last year’s trend

London continues to perform the weakest regionally, with job postings in the capital down -51.9% on last year’s trend. With London having been placed into Tier 2 lockdown, the capital faces mounting challenges. The same is true in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and swathes of the north of England, which face similar or even tighter restrictions

There does not appear to be any obvious relationship between relative regional performance and severity of restrictions (or case numbers). Instead, the sectoral composition of regional labour markets and ability to work from home — including knock-on impacts on local consumption patterns — is likely to be a bigger factor here.  

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 16 October 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 16 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 16 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.