End of recession near? Job postings on the up


James Reed,

MacBook Pro near green potted plant on table

Despite the UK entering a second lockdown on November 2nd, new research*, the UK’s largest online jobs board, reports a surge in job postings, indicating that the recession may be coming to an end.

In the days following the Prime Minister’s announcement, leading economists raised concerns of a double-dip recession. However, these fears have not come to fruition in the labour market, with November officially reed.co.uk’s best month for new job postings since February. Over 169,000 jobs were added onto the site, 4% higher than October’s total number and 119% higher than the first month of the lockdown in March.

Reed.co.uk’s research also shows that the jobs recovery is nationwide, with every region reporting a rise in job opportunities, except Scotland (-8%). Despite facing some of the toughest restrictions in the UK, this was most pronounced in the North West which reported a 16% growth in job postings month-on-month. Similar rises were found elsewhere: Wales (11%), the West Midlands (10%), the East Midlands and North East England (both 9%) and London (2%).

The breadth of sectors experiencing surges in job postings is a further indication that the current recession is coming to an end. During the latest national lockdown, reed.co.uk reported increases in job postings across the UK labour market, with leisure and tourism the fastest growing sector showing a 107% month-on-month rise and 46% year-on-year rise. This was followed by a 66% increase in customer service roles, and 37% more job opportunities in the strategy and consulting sector.

The growth in job postings in November is a continuation of a UK job market recovery reed.co.uk also recorded in previous months. Job postings also increased between September and October, rising by 15.

The continued growth into November shows the second lockdown in the UK had a negligible impact on the job market, culminating in job postings returning to just 20% below pre-pandemic levels last month – the smallest percentage gap yet, compared with -67% at its peak in April.

Commenting on the figures, James Reed, Chairman of REED, says “the UK labour market has been through the wringer in 2020 but as we close out the year, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future.

Although the Chancellor offered a negative outlook in his spending review, our research tells a different story. With job opportunities increasing across the UK and a range of sectors, we look set to bid farewell to the recession in the new year when we can look forward to a more positive economic landscape as vaccines are gradually rolled out throughout the population.

“Part of my optimism is down to the entrepreneurial spirit of the British people. When the first lockdown came into force, we saw a lot of kneejerk reactions, with businesses putting a pause on growth and hiring.

“But we have since learned how to work with COVID-19, and when the second lockdown happened, we haven’t seen anywhere near the same reduction in job postings and business confidence has maintained. Shopkeepers have reinvited themselves through technology, restaurants are offering takeaways, and theatres are streaming shows online. This agility and flexibility will put us in good stead for next year, as the economy recovers and grows after COVID.

“In this limbo period, while we wait for the vaccine to be rolled out, I urge anyone who is looking for work to consider temporary and seasonal roles. Not only are they a great way to raise income during the holiday season, but they also offer valuable work experience and demonstrate good initiative.”



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