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What jobs are available during the COVID-19 crisis?

Posted in career-advice

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

The COVID-19 lockdown brought a sharp fall in employment in the spring months, with 673,000 fewer payroll workers between March and September 2020 according to the ONS.

But preliminary data for September showed a possible start to the labour market’s recovery, with 20,000 more employees on payroll, fewer people temporarily out of work and a rise in total hours worked.

As part of its labour market data, the ONS publishes figures for the number of vacancies available in the UK by industry – a useful indicator of where jobs can be found as we emerge from lockdown and the lingering economic effects of the pandemic.

Most vacancies overall

The largest number of vacancies overall in July to September 2020 was in human health and social work activities, at a total of 114,000 available roles.

This represents an increase of 11,000 job opportunities since the previous quarter, perhaps an indication of the rising demand for medical and care workers due to the pandemic.

A further 58,000 jobs were available in wholesale and retail trade including motor vehicle repair, up by 20,000 jobs over the previous quarter, and again potentially a sign of the extra demand within wholesale and retail supply chains since the start of lockdown.

Biggest ratio of demand

The data also shows which industries have the biggest proportional demand, defined as the number of vacancies for every 100 employees in each sector.

Again healthcare tops the table, with 2.8 vacancies per 100 employees in human health and social care jobs.

This time it is followed by jobs in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply at 2.0 vacancies per 100 employees in the sector – the only other industry with a ratio of 2 or above.

Largest growth in demand

According to the ONS figures, there were 144,000 more job vacancies in the UK in July-September 2020, compared with the previous quarter, a rise of 42%.

The biggest proportional changes were in:

  • Construction (1.0 more vacancies per 100 employees)
  • Accommodation and foodservice (1.0)
  • Transport and storage (0.9)
  • Motor trades (0.8)
  • Information & communication (0.7)

Because these are the biggest changes per 100 current employees, they are a useful way to see rising demand equally across sectors of different sizes – and show the variety of industries with greater need for employees at the present time.

COVID-19 recruitment advice

Whether you’re an employer or a candidate, our employment consultants are on-hand to help with the latest Coronavirus recruitment advice as we move through the pandemic and beyond.

Our insight can help applicants to find industries with the largest number of vacancies at the current time, and we can also help businesses operating in sectors where demand for employees outstrips the availability of talent.

To find out more, give us a call on 0161 929 6665 and we can help you get started with your next recruitment campaign or job search, whatever the coming months might bring.

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