Friday 14 August 2020 9:56 am

REC: Post-lockdown record rise in vacancies hints at UK jobs recovery

More new vacancies for UK jobs were advertised last week than at any other time since the lockdown began, a new report has found.

Around 126,000 new UK-based jobs were posted in the week 3-9 August, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

It brought the total number of vacancies across the UK to 1.1m in a possible sign of a jobs recovery.

Read more: UK job vacancies see biggest weekly rise in 2020

There was also an increase in job adverts across all but five counties in the UK, showing a wider recovery.

It comes a day after the Office for National Statistics published data that showed the number of online job adverts stood at 62 per cent of its 2019 average, following its biggest weekly increase of the year.

Meanwhile, companies that had partially or completely shut down have reopened or intend to do so soon as the UK slowly opens back up.

Fewer than 14 per cent of private sector employees are still furloughed, down by more than half from the peak of lockdown.

More than 19 in 20 private sector businesses are open or set to reopen in the coming weeks, according to the Telegraph.

It includes some of the hardest hit industries such as accommodation and food services, where over 60 per cent of firms are now open. More than 90 per cent of pubs and restaurants are back up and running again.

Most popular jobs listings 3-9 August

OccupationActive job postingsWeekly change
Electricians and electrical fitters9,236+6.7%
Large goods vehicle drivers4,542+14.0%
Sales and retail assistants10,305+4.1%
Waiters and waitresses1,584+7.8%
Bar staff2,222+7.4%
Programmers and software development professionals44,422+2.3%
Chartered and certified accountants2,968+1.7%
Cleaners and domestics16,203+2.3%
Security guards and related occupations7,964+1.8%
Primary and nursery teaching education professionals27,770+0.7%
Care workers and home carers40,339+8.0%
Fitness instructors3,668+6.9%
Hairdressers and barbers1,429-1.8%
Table based on REC’s weekly job postings data for 3-9 August

UK jobs recovery ‘now underway’

REC chief executive, Neil Carberry, said that while unemployment is set to rise over the coming months, “a recovery is underway”.

Read more: US jobless claims fall below 1m for first time since pandemic began

“Construction sites have re-opened, logistics companies are dealing with high demand, and with people spending more time at home, many have been looking to spruce up their house and gardens,” he said.

“The increase in adverts for childminders and playworkers is interesting and perhaps linked to more people returning to offices and workplaces in the near future.

“It’s important to remember that we are not just passengers in all of this – we have tools available that can minimise the unemployment increase that is coming.”

He also called for a cut to employers’ National Insurance to help improve hiring rates and staff retention, as well as “a greater sense of urgency” on the private sector job search scheme.