I don't know about you but I'm hearing about "the great rehire", "2021 will pick up", "more jobs are coming" and "there's lost of optimism in the market". My colleague James Chorley did a great little piece on navigating the great rehire - read it by clicking here.
All positive stuff.
We are a quarter into the year (just about), and the vaccine roll out is going remarkedly well (still waiting for mine though Boris!). So where are we and how are we doing when it comes to job opportunities and unemployment.
In the latest REC Jobs Recovery Tracker we can see that there are some genuine signs that the UK is gearing up to have more job opportunities. Here are the big headlines;
- 137,000 new job adverts posted in the first week of March, giving a total of 1.33 million active job adverts in the UK
- Weekly number of new postings has remained stable through lockdown, and at a significantly higher level than spring 2020
- Significant growth in adverts for home improvement job such as roofers, plasterers, gardeners and painter-decorators
- London's jobs market continues to struggle, with a 15% drop in new postings and notable falls in active postings in Redbridge & Waltham Forest and Brent
On top of these big headlines, there were some smaller shoots that make interesting reading. Leisure and Retail job adverts have increased in preparation for the reduction of lockdown restrictions, with the 29th March and 12th April key dates for these sectors.
Unemployment seems to be tracking at the 5% level, still it's highest since August 2016, and forecasters are stating that it may well hit 6.5% before it starts to come down (BBC article). The number of job openings is not forecasted at the level it needs to be to combat unemployment in the short term, but will get there this year. Basically it's going to get worse before it gets better.
But is it?
The optimism I wrote about earlier is well founded. The stats point to an increase in job openings that is only going to continue to rise. It maybe that this in itself is enough to keep unemployment level and then start to lower it.
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The number of new job postings remained broadly stable throughout the most recent lockdown, as companies wait out restrictions. But it is noteworthy that new postings are at a much higher level than during the first lockdown – there were 52% more new job adverts posted in the first week of March 2021 than in the first week of April 2020, and 31% more than in the first week of July 2020. With lockdown measures beginning to ease, we would expect to see further growth in new postings in the coming months.