The week ending August 7 saw the largest increase of the year in UK online job adverts, giving the labour market a sign of hope that recovery is underway after the emergence of Covid-19 effectively stopped hiring in most sectors.
According to experimental figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the total volume of online job adverts posted between July 31 and August 7 rose by 8.4 percentage points to 61.8 per cent of its 2019 average, a substantial increase which marks a departure from the previous trend where job adverts had remained close to half their 2019 average since the second week of June. The index is based on data from search engine Adzuna.
Out of the 29 Adzuna categories, 24 increased compared with the previous week. Demand for IT staff remained high, at 71 per cent of the 2019 average, an increase of 3 percentage points on the preceding week. Accounting & finance vacancies also increased, by 2.9 percentage points, but are still at just 42.5 per cent of 2019 levels. Management and consulting vacancies increased by 4.8 percentage points to 27.9 per cent.
The category of transport, logistics and warehousing saw the largest increase, rising 46 percentage points to 117 per cent of its 2019 average, adding to its gains for the fifth consecutive week. However, the ONS said that some Adzuna categories may have seasonal peaks and troughs and caution should be taken not to solely attribute increases to economic recovery following the easing of lockdown and social distancing measures.
The category with the largest decrease was creative, design, arts and media, which decreased 2.2 percentage points to 41 per cent of its 2019 average. The volume of online job adverts in education remained unchanged at 77 per cent of its 2019 average.
Regionally, online job adverts were closest to their 2019 average in Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and London. Wales and the East Midlands saw the strongest weekly increases, of 15.1 percentage points and 12.5 percentage points respectively.
13th August 2020.