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Coronavirus and UK Job Postings: Hiring Holding Up in Face of Headwinds

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Job posting gap continues to narrow but still has a long way to go.

This post is updated as of 11th December 2020. We will continue to update these trends regularly as we track how coronavirus impacts the global labour market. 

Key points:

  • Job postings gap versus last year narrows to -37% 
  • Sports coaches and fitness instructors in demand 
  • Considerable variation across regions

The job postings trend on Indeed UK continues to show resilience. The gap to last year stood at -37% as of 11th December, the fifth consecutive weekly improvement. Whereas job postings were slowing this time last year, they have held up this time in the run up to Christmas. The labour market faces considerable headwinds though, with over half the UK population now living under the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Rising demand for sports coaches and fitness instructors  

The strongest improvement over the past month was in sports, a category which mainly includes sports coaches and fitness instructors. Gyms, leisure centres and sports facilities were permitted to reopen in early December after the end of England’s national lockdown and can stay open even in areas facing tier 3 restrictions, in contrast to the curbs on hospitality. 

Medical information, production & manufacturing, insurance and social science also saw improvements over the latest month.  

Varying regional picture

Northern Ireland remains the weakest performer at the regional level (-46%), followed by London (-43%). The North East is closest to last year’s trend (-17%), followed by the East of England (-21%). 

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 11 December 2019, but only 20% from 1 February 2020 to 11 December 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 11 December (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.