Jobs during this pandemic: is it all bad news?

Jobs during this pandemic: is it all bad news?

The job market may seem as if it’s on shaky ground at the moment. Whole sectors, such as the arts, leisure and tourism and hospitality, for example, have practically stopped, due to the ever-changing restrictions placed on them.

In theory, the number of opportunities out there must be shrinking by the minute as a result.

Is this a true reflection, though? Load up any recruiters’ website or job board, and there are still plenty of openings, which, given the time of year, is even more extraordinary.

The figures prove that, whatever the mainstream media likes to portray, the job market hasn’t completely evaporated during the pandemic. CV Library, one of the UK’s most prominent job sites, conducted a recent survey, which showed that job postings had indeed dropped by 15.1% during this hugely challenging year.

However, when comparing the month of November 2020 to the same period in last year’s figures, CV Library found only a -1.1% difference in the number of positions advertised. And when you consider that the month in question was spent in a national lockdown, this is positive news indeed.

The overall picture may be heartening; however, statistics differed greatly and were—perhaps unsurprisingly—more severe/significant depending on the individual sector. Though some industries, such as those mentioned above, are seeing a large drop in job posts, other sectors must be positively thriving, to reach an average of -1.1% overall.

A contributory factor to the buoyant job market could be the vacancies left by EU migrant workers returning home because of the pandemic. The ONS estimate that almost half-a-million roles previously filled by workers from other countries are now open. As a good number of these positions were undoubtedly in hospitality, tourism and leisure, it isn’t clear if these jobs are available now, or if they’re on hold until these sectors can safely open again.
The geographical area suffering the most is Aberdeenshire. According to CV Library’s survey, the Scottish county reported a 50.1% drop in opportunities and postings, which could be down to a lack of tourism during lockdowns/restrictions. To put this into context, London reported a 27.4% drop and Manchester -20.8% respectively.
Says Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV Library, “For any other month, these numbers would be hugely disappointing but, with the nation in lockdown since the 5th November, this data is quite encouraging. (Following) a number of retail giants folding, and as we enter a much tighter set of tiered restrictions, this resilience will be severely tested. It remains to be seen if the UK job market can weather the next few months as well at is has in November.
Whilst this is good news for many jobseekers, it appears that one section of society has been negatively affected in 2020. ‘Rest Less’, a job board for the over 50s, reports that the number of people unemployed within this age group has risen by a third this year. The organisation wants to highlight the plight of the older worker—they acknowledge the government’s commitment to getting the younger generation into employment, with schemes for 18-24 year-olds; however, they also want the powers-that-be to recognise how much damage has been done to the prospects of older workers. Indeed, Rest Less believe that the skills and experience the over 50s can bring to the job market shouldn’t be forgotten or dismissed, regardless of the pandemic.
The digital sector, according to some experts, will prove a saviour as we come out of the Covid crisis. In response to the number of businesses that have hurriedly created or improved their online offering to continue trading through lockdown, ecommerce has seen huge growth. The event industry and the TV and film industries are looking at live-streaming solutions and new ways of working that cut out the middleman, and technology is fuelling this move. Employees that have website and apps experience, as well as knowledge of similar technologies, should find themselves in great demand now, and post-Covid.
The recent fall of the Arcadia group is just one example of how older, more traditional business models are not surviving the pandemic. The group’s online offering wasn’t attractive or treated as a separate entity in its own right—it was only an ‘add-on’ to the ‘main business’, i.e. expensive bricks and mortar stores.
The move to digital consumerism isn’t purely down to coronavirus; as we’ve stated before, the pandemic has only hastened the overhaul of our high streets and changes in consumer habits. It was always going to happen.
Businesses that are agile and can move with the times, and which show incredible resilience in the face of the unforeseen, will be the ones posting these new job openings.

The recruitment industry is seeing huge competition between candidates for individual postings. It’s therefore crucial, as a recruitment agency, that your website is well designed and easy to navigate if you’re seeing more digital traffic than usual—and if you wish to capture the very best talent for plum roles within your niche or specialty. Fast Recruitment Website Design can help you with this—we focus solely on recruitment website design. If you would like more business, we can ensure your agency is ahead of its rivals in this brave new ‘digital’ world.
Don’t go the way of the dodo, like Sir Philip Green…choose to adapt to the market of today.

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