Increase in employment in some areas despite lockdown, study suggests

Some parts of the UK have seen a surge in employment despite the overall impact on jobs of the coronavirus crisis, new research suggests.

Job adverts have increased in recent weeks in rural communities in areas such as South Norfolk, Omagh and Moray, said the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Roofers and security guards are among professions with increased demand, as well as staff for the NHS, a study of vacancies indicated.

The number of job vacancies in Breckland and South Norfolk in the east of England grew by 8.7% week-on-week between between the start and mid-May, while many areas of Scotland and the north-east of England also saw growth, said the report.

The largest weekly falls in vacancies were reported to be in the South West and North West.

A worker at chemicals giant Ineos’s new hand sanitiser plant at Newton Aycliffe, near Middlesbrough, which is to produce one million bottles a month (Media Zoo/PA)
A worker at chemicals giant Ineos’s new hand sanitiser plant at Newton Aycliffe, near Middlesbrough, which is to produce one million bottles a month (Media Zoo/PA)

The number of job postings for health professionals, pharmacists and nurses all increased, but there was also rising demand for workers such as security guards, said REC.

Chief executive Neil Carberry said: “Health and social care workers being in high demand isn’t a surprise, but as more workplaces start to re-open, we are likely to see similar trends emerging for other roles.

“The increase in job adverts for cleaners and security guards could be the first sign of this.

“It’s encouraging to see growth in many areas of north-east England, and hopefully other regions will start to follow in the coming weeks.

“The economy will begin to bounce back from Covid-19 in the coming months, as businesses start to hire again.”

Minister for Employment Mims Davies said: “As we begin to reopen sectors of our economy, it’s welcome news that businesses are kick-starting recruitment efforts across the UK including in rural areas.

“While the full impact of Covid-19 is yet to play out, our new Job Help site is there to support anyone looking for work right now, with thousands of roles available.”

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