new job adverts

Jobs Recovery Tracker: More new job adverts posted as economic outlook and business confidence improve

More new job adverts posted as economic outlook and business confidence improve.

  • 140,000 new job adverts posted last week, giving a total of 1.37 million active job adverts in the UK
  • 181,000 new postings in the previous week, the highest since the onset of the pandemic
  • The three best weeks for new postings since the start of the pandemic have come since 8 March, suggesting increase in hiring as restrictions begin to ease
  • Continued growth for roles in hospitality, as well as rise in adverts for photographers, electrical technicians and health & safety officers
  • Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees, followed by Hounslow & Richmond upon Thames, were the hiring hotspots in the beginning of April
  • Medway saw the biggest fall in active job postings, while four of the bottom ten local areas were in Northern Ireland

The number of new job postings has remained high amidst the re-opening of the economy. The week of 5-11 April recorded a further 140,000 new job postings, giving a total of 1.37 million active job adverts in the UK. This is on top of a further 181,000 in the previous week, which was the highest weekly figure since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In fact, the three best weeks for new job postings have all come since 8 March. The higher numbers of job postings over the last few weeks reflects rising business confidence and an increasing willingness to hire new staff as the economy opens up.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“The busy barbers and pub gardens this week are a sign that large sections of our economy are getting going again – and this growing confidence is reflected in hiring activity. The three best weeks for new job postings since the onset of the pandemic have come since the beginning of March. An increase in demand for hospitality roles as restaurants and pubs prepared to partially re-open their premises this week is particularly welcome news. With the vaccine rollout on schedule, businesses are increasingly confident this positive trend will continue. That will unlock investment and with it, new jobs.

“However, not every sector or region of the country will recover at the same rate, and many people will need help finding a job or transitioning into a new industry. Data from Northern Ireland in particular is concerning – and businesses across the six counties will be looking to politicians from all sides to deliver clarity and stability to post-Brexit arrangements, so that they can invest with confidence. 

“Across the whole of the UK, governments and businesses now need to work together to help people find new roles in this developing recovery. As our tracker shows, the challenge is increasingly about getting people to jobs, not the supply of jobs overall. That means making sure the skills system works. Addressing feedback from businesses that the current apprenticeship levy system is making things worse not better must be a priority in Westminster, in particular.”

The occupation with the highest weekly increase in active job postings in the first week of April was photographers and other audio-visual equipment operators (+20.2%). There was also incresed demand for technical occupations such as electronics technicians (+7.0%), mechanical engineers (+5.0%) and electricians (+4.4%).

As restrictions begin to ease and the economy starts to re-open, it is encouraging to see further growth in numbers of job adverts in the hospitality and leisure industry – sectors that were hit the hardest by social distancing restrictions. There were increases in active postings for bar (+7.6%) and waiting staff (+3.8%), leisure and sports managers (+4.4%) and hotel and accommodation managers (+2.1%) in the first week of April.

At a local level, the top hiring hotspot in the beginning of April was in Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees (+1.9%). This was followed by Hounslow & Richmond upon Thames (+1.7%), Sandwell (+1.1%) and Berkshire (+0.6).

At the other end of the spectrum, the steepest fall in weekly job postings was recorded in Medway (-21.4%). Furthermore, four of the ten areas with the highest drops in active job postings were in Northern Ireland. Mid & East Antrim (-14.0%) were second overall, followed by Ards & North Down (-10.8%), Causeway Coast & Glens (-8.8%) and Antrim & Newtownabbey (-8.4%).

Matthew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi said:

“It’s fantastic to see further signs of recovery in some of the hardest hit parts of the economy – particularly noting positive week-on-week growth in new job postings across both the Hospitality and Sports & Leisure sectors. Unsurprisingly, we also saw an increase in demand for Health & Safety professionals over the first week of April – further indication that companies are preparing to open the doors. Overall, I’d describe the market as ‘cautiously optimistic’ – so let’s all hope for continued progress in the weeks and months ahead.”