Online job adverts down by half

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Online job adverts down by half

The number of online job advertisements has dropped below half of the average for the same period last year, according to an “experimental” measure published by the Office for National Statistics.

The figures are yet another stark indicator of the havoc the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted on the UK economy.  The total number of job adverts posted online fell by 4 per cent to 47 per cent of their 2019 average for the period June 26 to July 3, the ONS said on Thursday.  The data was taken from the job search engine Adzuna.

Job adverts in the IT, computing and software category fared slightly better than the average, but were still down to 60 per cent of last year’s volume, having dropped from a high of 90 per cent in June.  There were only 31.5 per cent of advertisements in the accounting and finance sector compared to the previous year.  Oil & gas vacancies were even lower, at 27 per cent.

The data is one of the ONS’s so-called faster indicators, experimental data sets collected by the statistics body to gauge the health of the economy, which also include shipping data from ports, high street shopper numbers and VAT returns.

The ONS said that the largest drop recorded by the Adzuna vacancy data was in the transport, logistics and warehouse sector, where there was a 12 per cent decline.  Adverts for domestic help were down by 10 per cent.  Adverts for graduate level positions remained at about 40 per cent of their average for last year.

Figures published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation last week showed that in the last week of June, there were 990,000 active job postings in the UK, with 92,000 new job postings in the week of 22-28 June.

The coronavirus crisis has inflicted an unprecedented shock on the economy, the largest on record, with a 25 per cent contraction in April compared to February during the first full month of lockdown.

On Wednesday the chancellor announced a further £30 billion of measures to boost the economy, including a discount scheme to encourage consumers to eat out at restaurants and a £1,000 incentive for businesses to take employees back from furlough.  The schemes are an attempt to avert mass unemployment in the wake of the pandemic.

10th July 2020.