Coronavirus: New job vacancies fall most since July

Kumutha Ramanathan
·2 mins read
Head Chef at Annabel's private members club, Philip Kearsey, prepares meals for NHS staff with his colleagues at their premises in London, Britain, May 11, 2020.  Picture taken May 11, 2020.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Chefs are among the hardest hit by recent COVID-19 restrictions, seeing jobs postings become more scarce, according to REC. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The number of new job adverts posted online last week fell the most in the UK since July due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

A survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found there were 128,000 new jobs that had been advertised between 5 and 11 October. That marks a 7.6% decrease on the previous week.

The hospitality sector was hit the hardest last week, with significant decreases in active postings for bar staff, which was down 17.3%. Waiters and waitresses saw a reduction of postings by 10.8% and chefs by 7.2%. Finally, catering and bar managers saw a drop by 6.7%

The regions that were hardest hit within the hospitality sector include Northern Ireland, which was down by 16.7% and Scotland, where postings decreased by 9.7%. The latter data can be attributed to restaurants and pubs being closed across the central belt of Scotland in a bid to tackle rising COVID-19 cases.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of REC, said: “With Covid cases rising and further restrictions being imposed, a pause in the strong trend of recovery we have seen over the summer is perhaps not a surprise, though it’s deeply unwelcome.”

He added that “we do need to ensure that the right package of economic support is in place to help the regions and sectors hit by local lockdowns – including supporting temporary workers and the supply chains that support them.”

The UK is facing ever increasing restrictions as case numbers continue to go up.

On Thursday, the government confirmed that London’s COVID-19 restrictions will tighten over the weekend, alongside clampdowns in other parts of the UK. The news immediately sent the pound lower against the dollar and euro.

Sterling fell steeply against the dollar and euro following news of tightened restrictions in London.
Sterling fell steeply against the dollar and euro following news of tightened restrictions in London.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: London businesses face 'catastrophic' impact as city's mayor announces further restrictions

The current vacancy data from REC stands in contrast to its findings from a few weeks ago, when the number of new job adverts posted online last week hit its highest weekly total since early March before the coronavirus lockdown.

At the time, the data had boosted hopes of at least a partial recovery in the UK jobs market, despite rising unemployment figures.

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