Coronavirus and UK Job Postings: Lockdown 2 Hasn’t Blown Hiring Recovery Off Course
Job postings gap narrows to -41% on last year, driven by higher-wage roles.
This post is updated as of 27th November 2020. We will continue to update these trends regularly as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labour market.
- Job postings on Indeed UK narrowed the gap to last year’s trend despite tight restrictions in November.
- Growth was centred on higher wage jobs.
- Real estate hiring boosted by brisk housing market activity.
The gap in job postings trend versus last year has narrowed despite tight lockdown restrictions in November. Job postings on Indeed UK were -41% below last year as of 27th November. That was an improvement on -44% at the start of November before England’s second national lockdown began. Whereas the job postings trend was softening at this time in 2019, it has held up this year.
Looking at new job postings (those on Indeed for seven days or less), the gap in trend versus last year now stands at -26%. That compares with -32% at the start of November.
High-wage jobs boost
Higher-wage job postings have fared better throughout the crisis and continue to outperform. Unsurprisingly given the sectoral impact of tighter restrictions, the bottom and middle-third wage tiers saw their job posting trends stutter in early November after England’s month-long lockdown began. Both categories had the same gap in trend on 27th November as at the start of the month (-47% and -43% respectively). By contrast, higher wage job postings closed the gap from -36% to -32%.
Real estate leads upturn in hiring intentions
The strongest improvement over the past month was in real estate. The property market continues to run hot amid the stamp duty holiday, helping support estate agency hiring. Production & manufacturing, insurance, medical information and medical technicians also saw rising demand. Conversely, chemical engineering, therapy and nursing saw the biggest weakening in job posting trends.
Distribution continues to prosper
Sectors supporting the stay-at-home economy remain resilient. New job postings in loading & stocking are running 9% above last year’s trend, while driving is only -9% down. Face-to-face services continue to be hard-hit, with hospitality & tourism and food preparation & service both -75% down. However, in both cases new job posting trends improved by more than ten percentage points from lows seen in early November after the start of Lockdown 2, as businesses geared up for reopening in December.
Northern Ireland slips to the back of the pack
Northern Ireland has fallen behind London as the weakest performer at the regional level (-48%). The North East is the closest to last year’s trend (-24%), followed by the East and West Midlands (-31%).
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.
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 27 November 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 27 November 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 27 November (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.