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The Impact of Coronavirus on UK Job Postings Through February 12: Data from Indeed

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UK job postings on February 12 were 37.3% below the February 1, 2020, pre-pandemic baseline.

We regularly update this report to track the pandemic’s effects on the labour market. Our methodology changed at the start of 2021 — see note at end of post.

Job postings — a real-time measure of labour market activity — were 37.3% below the February 1, 2020, pre-pandemic baseline, seasonally adjusted, as of February 12, 2021. That was little-changed from a week earlier, when postings were 37.0% below the baseline. 

The gap in job postings versus the pre-pandemic baseline narrowed by 5.3 percentage points (ppts) between 12 January and 12 February, but remains substantial. With the Prime Minister due to announce the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown next week, many employers will be looking at the timescale for easing restrictions as they assess their hiring plans for the coming months. 

A line graph showing the percentage change in job postings on Indeed UK since 01 Feb 2020, seasonally adjusted, to 12 Feb 2021. There was a -37.3% change in UK job postings on Indeed from 01 Feb 2020 to 01 Feb 2021.

Construction jobs see growth

Looking at sectoral trends, the biggest improvement in job postings over the past month has been in construction (+17.4 ppts versus the pre-pandemic baseline). Loading & stocking, manufacturing, logistic support and security & public safety have also seen improvements.

A chart showing the % change in UK job postings, seasonally adjusted, Feb 12 2021. The strongest performers were: Construction at a -9.4% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a 17.4 percentage point (ppt) change since 12-Jan 2020. Loading & Stocking had a -16.6% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a 15.2 ppt. change since 12-Jan 2020. Manufacturing saw a -9.0% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a 12.4 ppt. change since 12-Jan 2020. Logistic Support saw a -19.5% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a 11.0 ppt change since 12-Jan 2020. Security & Public Safety saw a -26.3% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a 10.8 ppt. change since 12-Jan 2020. The weakest performers were: Physicians & Surgeons having a -19.1% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a -4.5 percentage point drop since 12-Jan 2020, Cleaning & Sanitation had a -39.4% change since 1-Feb 2020 with a -6.1 percentage point (ppt) drop since 12-Jan 2020. Chemical Engineering had a -22.7% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a -6.3 ppt change since 12-Jan 2020. Sports had a -60.3% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a -12.2 ppt change since 12-Jan 2020. Medical Information had 18.4% change since 1-Feb 2020 and a -20.0 ppt. change since 12-Jan 2020.

Regional trends

Regionally, job postings are down most in the South East, followed by Northern Ireland and London. The North East is closest to its pre-pandemic baseline.

This bar graph shows the percentage change in job postings on Indeed UK since Feb 01 2020, seasonally adjusted, to Feb 12 2021. South East saw a -44.1% change, Northern Ireland saw a -41.6% change, London saw a -37.1% change, Scotland a -35.6% change, South West saw a -34.5% change, North West saw a -32.2% change, East of England -31.1% change, East Midlands saw a -30.8% change, Wales saw a -29.2% change, Yorkshire & the Humber saw a -29.0% change, West Midlands saw a -28.9% change, and North East saw a -24.6% change.

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

All figures in this blogpost are the percentage change in seasonally-adjusted job postings since February 1, 2020, using a seven-day trailing average. February 1, 2020, is our pre-pandemic baseline. We seasonally adjust each series based on historical patterns in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Each series, including the national trend, occupational sectors, and sub-national geographies, is seasonally adjusted separately. We adopted this new methodology in January 2021 and now use it to report all historical data. Historical numbers have been revised and may differ significantly from originally reported values.

This blogpost is based on publicly available information on the Indeed UK website and any other countries if named in the post. Unless specified otherwise, it is limited to the UK, is not a projection of future events, and includes both paid and unpaid job solicitations.