Hospitality at a standstill

UK suffers biggest drop in lockdown job vacancies

Wagamama, service, hospitality, restaurant

Hospitality has ground to a halt (pic: Terry Murden)

Britain is the worst hit country for job vacancies as sections of the economy almost cease to function amid the ongoing lockdown.

Hospitality and catering has seen an 82% drop in vacancies in the past 10 weeks, while retail is down 57% in the past week alone.

The downturn marks an additional loss of 40,000 jobs week on week as economic uncertainty around output and consumption continue to take hold in the UK.

Research by job search engine Adzuna shows the property sector has lost 70% of all vacancies in the past 10 weeks while manufacturing has 64% fewer.

Traditional office roles are also starting to feel the strain with sales (down 78%), admin (77%), and HR vacancies (77%) falling to their lowest levels in more than eight years.

The figures mean the UK, with a 54% fall in vacancies, continues to be the worst-hit country, ahead of the US with a 50% reduction in advertised vacancies. Australia is the third-worst with a 48% reduction.

The UK travel industry also saw some of the highest drops in vacancies (57%). The number is notably higher than the global outlook, which has seen an overall decline of 44%.

Search terms for ‘working from home’ have increased by 1192%, while searches for ‘online jobs’ have increased by 1769% as jobseekers look to avoid travel.

Social work is the only sector to defy the economic slump and see a small but significant upturn in vacancies (0.13%) year to date, followed by domestic workers and cleaning jobs, which have seen a have remained comparatively stable in the past two weeks. 

Social workers continue to be in demand as councils continue to call on staff to support vulnerable children and families across the UK in the wake of the pandemic.

Full-time positions have increased as councils look to move away from part-time or agency staff to meet the demands of those in need. Interest in social work jobs remains steady throughout the pandemic with 8,100 searches last month.

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Demand for cleaners, domestic workers, and hospital cleaning staff have remained steady.

Government and public health officials emphasise the importance of clean working and living areas to contain the virus, which has led to increased demand across the country for these roles. 

Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, comments: “Key sectors in the UK job market have taken another hit this week after the Government announced an additional three weeks of lock-down to control the spread of the virus. 

“The UK has now lost over half of all advertised positions across the country and is showing little sign of recovery, as economic uncertainty continues to grow and job security continues to fall. 

“Indirect casualties of the pandemic are also starting to show this week, as HR, sales, and admin positions all lose over three-quarters of vacancies over an eight week period.”

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