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Job vacancies in UK down over 45% in June as Coronavirus stalls hiring

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Professional vacancies in the UK were down 46.1% year on year in June as hiring continues to be impacted by Covid-19.

That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the recruitment sector.

The data, provided by business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft, also revealed that hiring activity was impacted as early as Q1 this year, with professional vacancies down 31.3% in the first quarter, as concerns over the virus started to manifest. As lockdown took effect, volumes in Q2 dropped 69% when compared to the same period last year.

London least impacted

The statistics also indicated that the drop in recruitment has been more marked regionally than in London, which was down 39.8% year on year. In comparison, the East Midlands saw the greatest annual fall in vacancies, with volumes down 57.2%, with the South East also hard hit, with hiring seeing a decrease of 49% year on year.

Demand for IT professionals dominates UK hiring

While hiring across IT is down 37% year on year, it remains the most in demand profession, accounting for 31.5% of the country’s vacancies. This is indicative of the vast number of businesses that are still seeking IT infrastructure support as remote working continues to be implemented.

Despite all professions reporting a drop in hiring activity, demand for banking professionals also remained relatively resilient, with volumes down by just 28% year on year, indicating the continued need for financial expertise across the UK’s businesses as budgets were impacted by Covid-19.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments: “As we entered 2020 most of us in the recruitment profession had our focus fully set on Brexit, but none of us could have predicted the events which would eventually unfold across the UK and the rest of the world as Covid-19 changed our lives completely. We all knew that hiring would take a hit as a result of the lockdown, so to see jobs down overall for June is perhaps no surprise for many staffing company owners.”

“However, every business and every industry are different. Some sectors have remained resilient and are beginning to show signs of positivity as we emerge from lockdown bleary eyed and eager to get back to the grind once again. Other sectors will, however, feel the impact of the pandemic for far longer. As we enter the summer months and more businesses begin to once again open their doors for staff, we certainly hope to see professional recruitment get the much-needed boost it deserves.”

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