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The UK's uneven jobs recovery

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Martin Armstrong

The latest figures from the REC reveal a continued uneven jobs recovery across the UK. The North West as well as Wales and Northern Ireland have shown solid growth in October when compared to the amount of active job postings in March before the pandemic really hit the economy. As this infographic shows, there were almost 40 percent more adverts recorded in the North West in October than there were in the early spring.

In the first week of November there were 1.4 million active postings across the country - surpassing levels recorded in Early March. This expansion has chiefly been led by a small handful of areas though, with the likes of London and the West Midlands still lagging behind. In terms of job sectors, largest growth has been seen in 'food and drink manufacturing', 'LGV drivers' and 'nurses' while falls persist in the hospitality industry.

Looking forward, Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said: “What we need to do now is support businesses who can to create jobs, and help people who have lost work to transition into those new roles. With the stark difference in demand across different regions, avoiding a skills mismatch will require serious planning."

While acknowledging the crucial role recruiters will play in this, Carberry also highlighted the need for effective action in Westminster, adding: "Government can also help by reducing barriers to creating jobs through tax policy and regulatory change – like keeping the online right-to-work checking we have moved to in the pandemic. Broadening the apprenticeship levy would also allow workers to train and fill skill gaps in the longer-term. Some hard-pressed sectors with high demand – like food manufacturing – also need the new immigration system to reflect the severe shortages they are facing.”

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