Companies Open Doors for New Employees as the UK Economy Forges a Path to Recovery

  • May 29, 2020 BST
  • Team Kalkine
Companies Open Doors for New Employees as the UK Economy Forges a Path to Recovery

UK’s coronavirus headache might be gone as signs of labour market growth were spotted with the largest rise in hiring seen in rural areas, as per the survey conducted by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

It seems that the worst might be over for the country in which the coronavirus pandemic has sparked the fastest rise in unemployment since 1947. Workers across several industries lost their jobs as the companies carried out mass lay-offs to protect their dampened revenues in the times of crisis. In such a beaten down market, fresh job openings were nothing less than a dream given the sharp decline in employer demand over past recent weeks. But rural regions are defying the trends!

REC launched a new Jobs Recovery Tracker in which it recorded the significant uptick in employer demand with around 950,000 unique job adverts in the UK between 11 and 17 May, 2020. The surge in hiring has reportedly been driven by the encouraging growth seen in North-East England and other rural communities, including South Norfolk, Omagh and Moray.

Between 4-10 and 11-17 May, in the east of England, number of job postings in Breckland & South Norfolk grew by 8.7% week-on-week. Meanwhile, in north-east of England, Argyll & Bute was up by 4.5%, and both Northumberland and Durham up 2.4%. The figures indicate that the country has passed the hiring slump where unique job postings fell by 28 per cent to 1.34 million in April compared to the 1.86 million postings during the month of February 2020, before lockdown measures were introduced in the UK.

Chief Executive of the REC Neil Carberry stated that while there has been a huge slowdown due to coronavirus crisis, this job postings data showed that the picture is not uniform in all parts of the country and for all types of occupations.

The demand for frontline healthcare workers has been strongest in May with greater number of job postings for health professionals (+9.2%), nurses (+2.7%) and pharmacists (+3.9%). Top ten occupations by growth in job posting includes:

Occupation

Unique job postings, 11-17 May

Change in unique job postings, 4-10 May to 11-17 May

Health professionals n.e.c.

1,796

+9.2%

Roofers, roof tilers and slaters

410

+5.4%

Pharmaceutical technicians

1,772

+4.9%

Artists

638

+4.1%

Pharmacists

3,200

+3.9%

Speech and language therapists

1,612

+3.8%

Security guards and related occupations

7,400

+3.8%

Houseparents and residential wardens

338

+3.7%

Industrial cleaning process occupations

895

+3.6%

Growth in Job Posting by Occupation (Source: Recruitment & Employment Confederation, UK)

The optimism building around the British employers indicate the hopes of economic revival as the government moves to ease lockdown restrictions. Earlier this month, Boris Johnson-led government has announced a three-phased exit strategy to reopen the economy in stages which would see several retail outlets to start operations, people returning to work, reopening of schools, and no restriction on exercise.

Neil Carberry is of the view that UK economy would soon be back on track to rebound from COVID-19, as businesses begin to hire again. He added it could also support the collaborative work between businesses and government and to redeploy workers into industries where demand is returning.

It could also bring down the pressure on firms using the government's wage subsidy programme who might struggle to pay salaries of furloughed employees after October, i.e. when the state-backed furloughing scheme ends. This scenario has been raising the prospect of job losses in the United Kingdom putting low-income workers on the highest risk. The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has showed that 64 per cent of job losses comprises of the workers earning between £15,000 and £25,000.

Hospitality, Retail and Travel have been hardest hit by the crisis with the hospitality and catering sector witnessing the loss of as much as 86 per cent of all jobs across the country. The UK unemployment is expected to skyrocket which is likely to at least double to 8 per cent in the coming few months. The outlook would have been bleaker if there would have been no state-backed furloughing scheme that presently covers over 8.4 million workers.

Under the state-backed furloughing scheme, the government has taken the forbearance of paying the 80% of salaries of furloughed employees to the maximum of £2,500 per month per employee. The scheme has recently been extended for further four months to October 2020 as Britain exits lockdown. But despite the regular government’s support, the companies struggle through the lower business activities and if there is no inflow of money they may be forced to take the difficult decision of lay-offs.

However, UK hiring hotspots revealed the surprising rise in health and medical care workers. Llyods Pharmacy has listed hundreds of jobs from dispensers to warehouse staff and delivery drivers as the company continues to provide quality healthcare services through its 1,400 UK Branches. Supermarket Giant Morrisons (LON: MRW) hired 3,500 staff to meet rising demand for home deliveries, as per Metro, while Tesco (LON: TSCO) opened job opportunities for 20,000 new workers. On May 29, TSCO is trading at GBX 233.30, down 0.34 per cent whereas, MRW stock price has surged up by 1.61 per cent to trade at GBX 189.0 as at 11:47 AM GMT.

REC expects to see the high demand for cleaners and security guards in the coming months as more workplaces start to re-open. This Jobs Recovery Tracker is produced by REC in partnership with Emsi in order to monitor the change in labour market trends like who’s hiring versus who’s not, what skills are in demand and how has this changed, among other things.

Matthew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi stated that the total postings activity has significantly declined over the last few weeks, however there are some early positive indicators emerging in the data which are likely to lead the speedy economic recovery across the UK.

To the contrary, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts Britain’s economy to enter the deepest recession, not seen in 300 years. In the April-June period alone, UK GDP is expected to plunge by 35 per cent with the overall contraction of 13 per cent expected in the entire year 2020.

Looking forward, the experts predict some economic revival in 2021 but it is stated to depend upon the success of the country in containing the spread of the coronavirus. Further the rate of unemployment stands to be the key to economic rival in the country which is a major business hub of the world.

 


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