Throughout the last year, we've been tracking how the labour market has been adapting to the evolving constraints that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on social and economic activity. Whilst we have explored a broad range of emerging data on this topic, from official unemployment statistics to data about furlough take-up, a consistent focus for us throughout has been to track online job posting activity, with our Job Posting Analytics data giving a window into employer hiring activity, as measured by the posting of new job adverts from thousands of online sources.

As the first Lockdown was announced back in March 2020, we saw a significant drop in employer hiring activity, with newly advertised job postings falling by over 50% between February and the pandemic low in May. As restrictions eased and the economy adapted to the "new normal", employer hiring activity picked up, with slow but steady increases in new job postings through the summer to October. Of course, it was in the Autumn that, having seen the "second peak" looming into view, officials across the United Kingdom started to tighten restrictions, and the economic resurgence was halted. Yet whilst employer job posting activity fell back once again, it was encouraging to see that the sharp decline of the first Lockdown was not repeated to the same extent.

What is even more encouraging is that as the UK once again eases restrictions, employer hiring activity has come back strongly. At almost 900,000 new job postings in the month of March, this is now back to just 6% below the pre-pandemic high in February 2020.

It's worth mentioning an important point of context to help us understand what this is actually saying. There is not necessarily a 1:1 relationship between the volume of job postings and the number of jobs being recruited, since employers will often advertise just once when seeking multiple hires for the same role, whilst many advertised roles may go unfilled, and of course not all job advertising is done online. However, because we are using the same measure over time, it does give us a good indication of the general direction of travel.

With the latest official unemployment count standing at approximately 1.7 million, and a degree of uncertainty remaining over the nearly 5 million people also furloughed, there is still some way to go to build sufficient vacancies in the economy to make up for the challenge created in the last 12 months or so, but we do at least appear to be heading in the right direction. The big challenge, however, when considering the economic recovery, is understanding the specific opportunities being created in relation to the skills and experience of the displaced workforce, as well as new entrants to the labour market.

This is where we can dig into the details beneath the headlines and start to cast some light on the occupations that appear to be driving hiring demand. The following chart shows the Top 20 in-demand occupations based on new job postings in March 2021:

The data shows quite a broad cross-section of job roles driving demand right now. There remains a significant demand for health and care roles, as well as specialist IT roles, whilst jobs associated with the logistics industry -- a sector that has really thrived through these challenging times -- such as van drivers and elementary storage occupations, also remain strong. The presence of cleaners in the Top 20 clearly reflects the importance of this work in supporting large parts of the hospitality sector to re-open safely, whilst the strong demand for HR roles perhaps also hints at a brighter future for the labour market.

Monthly new job postings volumes have very nearly doubled between the low point in May last year and March 2021.

The following chart shows the Top 20 occupations by new job posting growth rate, for occupations that had more than 50 unique new postings in each month (by hovering over the bars, you can see both the percentage growth and increase in terms of actual numbers):

Perhaps unsurprisingly we are seeing the greatest growth rates coming from those roles most directly affected by lockdown restrictions -- namely roles related to the construction, hospitality, leisure and service economies.

It will be interesting to see how much of a fit this re-emerging demand is for the workforce that has been displaced since the first Lockdown, but what is clear is that it is going to be critical for those supporting this community to get back into work to have information on where the re-emerging opportunities lie in their local economy.

We will be continuing to illuminate what is driving the re-emergence in employer hiring activity in our next webinar on Wednesday 28th April at 2pm, where we will be exploring which skills employers are seeking and how these might be changing from pre-pandemic recruitment activity. You can register for this free webinar here

For more insights and analysis on the labour market in your area, contact Emsi.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

#SkillsWorldLive Video: Why is it important to have diversity in apprenticeships?

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Edge Future Learning - Making education relevant...

Building on our work with Edge Future Learning Leaders and Partners around the world, our model includes three key principles that help bring...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page