Employer confidence slowly picks up in May, while application rates also begin to soar
The latest job market data from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board, reveals that employer confidence started to pick back up in May as lockdown restrictions eased, with job vacancies rising by 5.9% month-on-month across the UK.
The study looks at job market data throughout May and compares this with figures from the previous month (April 2020) and year (May 2019), to build an understanding of how the UK labour market is really fairing right now.
Indeed, it appears that the biggest job booms were in the North and Midlands, with the following cities experiencing the largest increases in job numbers last month, when looking at month-on-month data:
- Leicester +27.6%
- Sheffield +26.4%
- Hull +19.7%
- Liverpool +12.4%
- Manchester +9.3%
- Edinburgh +8.2%
- Birmingham +5.8%
- Leeds +5.3%
- London +3.6%
- Newcastle +2.6%
Alongside this, the industries that saw the biggest jumps in vacancies include automotive (+176.8%), leisure/tourism (+43.4%), recruitment (+42.3%), distribution (+33.8%), marketing (+32.1%), retail (+27.1%), design (+26.9%), accounting/finance (+22%), construction (+20.9%) and education (+18.7%).
However, despite these reassuring figures, it is important to note that when looking at year-on-year data, overall job numbers were down by 67.9%. What’s more, none of the locations or industries monitored in the report saw a rise in jobs year-on-year.
Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments:
“As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, the market is starting to show signs of recovery and it’s promising to see job numbers picking back up across the country; particularly in sectors that we know have been suffering. However, there’s still a long way to go and we cannot expect figures to return to normal overnight, especially when businesses are under a lot of financial pressure.”
Alongside the above, CV-Library’s data shows that while applications also dropped by 1.6% month-on-month and a further 31.6% year-on-year, the overall application to job ratio increased significantly last month; rising by a staggering 112.9% year-on-year. This means there was a substantially higher number of applications for each role advertised in May.
When looking at industry data, the sectors with the biggest increases in applications per vacancy include hospitality (+507.2%), agriculture (+490.7%), customer service (+308.1%) sales (+305.9%) and media (+294.5%). What’s more, the locations with the biggest rises include the South West (+168.6%), South East (150.7%), East Midlands (+129.3%), East of England (+126.5%) and Scotland (+112.6%).
“While applications may be down overall, the fact that there are less jobs being advertised than normal, and more professionals entering the job market, means competition for jobs is already beginning to intensify. This will put employers in a favourable position as the labour market continues to shift, but it’s important for companies to think seriously about their recruitment and retention efforts; especially when the furlough scheme does eventually come to an end.”
CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites and attracts over 4.3 million unique job seekers every month. Founded by Lee Biggins in 2000, CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent online job board with a database of over 15 million CVs.