February Job Market Review

reed.co.uk’s monthly Job Market Review gives recruiters and businesses fresh insights into what happened in the jobs market in the last month – including candidate insights and regional and sector performance.

February 2021 Snapshot

  • Vacancies are up 3% on January 2021
  • Vacancies are up 19% on February 2020
  • Wales saw the greatest annual growth for jobs at 134%
  • Nearly 2.2 million applications were made during February on reed.co.uk


February saw increased recruiting demand and optimism from businesses, with job adverts on reed.co.uk up 19% on the same time last year

Over 232,000 vacancies were posted on reed.co.uk – an increase of 37,000 compared to the 195,000 job adverts which appeared in February 2020.

The Health and Social Care sector continues to lead the way for the number of jobs posted, however it’s Customer Service roles that saw the biggest month-on-month growth (70%).

Other areas with significant month-on-month growth include Human Resources (35%,) Graduate trainee/internships (19%) and Admin, Secretarial and PA roles (11%) – all of which lend themselves well to business needs in line with the potential of a return to the office in the summer months.


Annual increase for vacancies in all regions, barring London and Northern Ireland

Nearing the year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the number of vacancies in February flourished in comparison to the same time in 2020 – in fact, Wales saw the greatest year-on-year growth of 134%, with over 10,000 jobs posted on reed.co.uk.

As for areas in England, the North East saw the biggest year-on-year rise (88%) with 6,700 new jobs in February. Followed by the East Midlands with 56% YoY growth and South West England which saw 55% YoY growth compared to February 2020.

In Scotland, 7,800 vacancies were advertised during February – a 7% MoM growth and 29% YoY growth.


What we expect to see in March

Activity in the market remains high after the January rush and we expect businesses to respond positively to the increased support offered in the government’s Budget. 

There will continue to be an emphasis on getting the younger demographic – those worst hit by unemployment during the pandemic – back into employment through various schemes to help businesses hire young workers. We also expect to see further increases in hiring in line with the lockdown easing roadmap announced earlier in February, with sectors including hospitality, travel and the arts preparing to get people back to their place of work.