Huge fall in online job vacancies, study suggests

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The biggest declines were in catering and hospitality, and wholesale and retail, according to the ONS and jobs site Adzuna.

Coronavirus – Fri May 15, 2020

Online job vacancies fell by more than half in the two months to the start of May, a study suggests.

The biggest declines were in catering and hospitality, and wholesale and retail, while education saw a smaller fall, said the Office for National Statistics and jobs site Adzuna.

The volume of job vacancies in health and social care saw little or no change from March to May.

Adzuna said vacancies have fallen from 820,000 at the beginning of April to 373,000 in May as fears of a long-lasting economic downturn continue to grow.

Hospitality and catering lost 86% of jobs across the UK, while retail positions fell by 70%, said the report.

Job losses in sectors such as hospitality have disproportionately affected lower-income workers, with almost two-thirds of job losses coming from those earning between £15,000 and £24,299, said Adzuna.

Imposed restrictions on international movement are also having “dire consequences” on the travel industry and airlines, with travel jobs dropping by 67% since March.

Job vacancies in construction, property and manufacturing are down by around 70% as uncertainty continues to put a hold on hiring plans, said Adzuna.


Healthcare and social work are the only sectors to remain stable throughout the crisis, with nurses, carers and hospital cleaners in high demand, it was found.

The Institute of Employment Studies analysed Adzuna’s job vacancy index to discover that London has experienced the biggest drop in hiring activity nationally, down 64%.

The capital is disproportionately affected by the drop in hospitality jobs, with London making up 20% of vacancies in the sector.

The West Midlands suffered the second largest job losses with a fall of 63%, followed by Yorkshire and Humber (62%) and Scotland (61%), said the report.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “The UK has suffered huge job losses as it battles to stop the spread of coronavirus. The direct impact Covid-19 has had on sectors such as hospitality and retail has been catastrophic and is likely to take some time to recover.

“I’m given some solace by the fact that in the last two to three weeks, the analysis suggests hiring looks to be turning a corner and returning to growth, albeit from a low base.”

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