London lags behind for job vacancies, study suggests

London is lagging behind the rest of the country for job vacancies as businesses in the capital struggle to deal with social distancing measures, work-from-home policies and the closures of non-essential shops, according to a new report.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said there were 1.77 million job adverts in the UK last month, an increase of 10.5% from December 2019.

There were big increases in vacancies in healthcare and construction, while hospitality and leisure industries continue to struggle, said the report.

The study also showed more adverts for environmental health professionals and vets, as well as for skilled trades such as bricklayers, glaziers and carpenters.

Among the occupations with the biggest drops in job adverts were bar staff, travel agents, chefs, beauticians and sports and leisure assistants.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of REC, said: “There is a great deal of underlying strength in the jobs market, despite the tough economic circumstances of the current lockdown.

“Jobs are still being created all over the country, but it is no surprise that some sectors and regions like health, social care and construction are in the lead, while others, particularly hospitality and particularly London, are in desperate need of support.”

The report added that Wales and north-west England registered notably higher numbers of job vacancies last month, contrasting with the situation in London.

The capital was the only major region which saw a year-on-year drop in job adverts, said REC.