UK Job Postings Through 2 July: Growth Continues
But some sectors including hospitality see slight falls after delay to full reopening.
We regularly update this report to track the pandemic’s effects on the labour market.
Job postings on Indeed UK continue to rise. Job postings — a real-time measure of labour market activity — were 11% above the 1 February, 2020, pre-pandemic baseline, seasonally adjusted, as of 2 July, 2021. That was a 4.7 percentage point (ppt) gain from a fortnight ago. Improvement was maintained despite the delay to the final stage of reopening from 21 June to 19 July. But the latest growth was uneven — some categories which have seen strong growth in recent months saw slight reversals in the latest period.
Hospitality hiring stalls
In contrast to the improvement in the overall trend, the food preparation & service category saw a deterioration in the latest fortnight. This category has seen very strong growth in recent months as hospitality reopened. One possible explanation for the decline is the delay in lifting social distancing restrictions, which may have temporarily put the brakes on hiring in the sector. Alternatively, the ramp-up may have peaked after the initial rush to hire staff (or jobs might be being filled faster).
Community & social service, construction, hospitality & tourism and software development also saw slight reversals in job posting trends. However, with the expectation of hospitality & tourism, they remain well above pre-pandemic levels.
Physicians & surgeons, social science, chemical engineering, security & public safety, customer service and medical information saw improvements over the latest fortnight.
Wales pulls ahead
Wales reached the front of the pack for regional job posting recoveries, ahead of the North East, while Northern Ireland and London are the only places where job postings have yet to reach the pre-pandemic benchmark.
Middlesbrough has strongest job postings recovery
Looking across cities and large towns, the job posting recovery has been strongest in Middlesbrough, followed by Swansea, Barnsley and Hull. Aberdeen, Crawley, Aldershot and Belfast are furthest below pre-pandemic levels. As we discussed in a previous post, posting recovery has been fastest in cities with higher shares of manufacturing, distribution, healthcare and education jobs, while areas reliant on hospitality, tourism and highly paid, white-collar, work-from-home jobs trail.
We host the underlying job-postings chart data on Github as downloadable CSV files. Typically, it will be updated with the latest data one day after this blog post was published.
All figures in this blog post are the percentage change in seasonally-adjusted job postings since 1 February, 2020, using a seven-day trailing average. 1 February, 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.
Information is based on publicly available information on the Indeed UK website (and any other countries named in the post), is 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.