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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus: Vacancies are at six-year low

The impact of coronavirus on the jobs market has seen vacancies fall to their lowest levels since March 2014.

With 637,000 jobs advertised in the UK between February and April 2020, these figures equate to a 25 per cent year-on-year decrease in vacancies. There has also been a fall of 170,000 available roles since the previous quarter (November 2019-January 2020).

It is unclear when the job market will pick up again, with figures released in April showing that 63 per cent of businesses have taken a financial hit from the effects of Covid-19.

Joel Kempson from money.co.uk, said: "Covid-19 is clearly having a devastating effect on the UK jobs market. It's shocking to think that just three months ago in February, there was a record employment rate of 76.6 per cent across the UK."

The hardest hit industries, showing the biggest fall in vacancies, are:

  • Financial Services and Insurance (-15 per cent)
  • Transport and Storage (-14.8 per cent)
  • ICT (-13.6 per cent)

Other sectors have seen job opportunities rise, including:

  • Public Administration (+9.5 per cent)
  • Mining and Quarrying (+7.1 per cent)
  • Administration & Support Services (+4.2 per cent)

Joel Kempson said: "Industries that have taken the biggest hit as a result of the coronavirus crisis, are those which were forecast to see huge growth across 2020."

The fall in vacancies across the UK is yet more bad news for the 2.1 million people claiming unemployment benefits .

While the government has provided financial support for businesses, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, there is a sense of uncertainty as to what will happen to those working in industries that may find it difficult to recover.

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