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.
July 2021 Snapshot
- Record number of vacancies posted on Reed.co.uk at almost 325,000
- Hospitality vacancies have dropped -20% after an active June, but applications are up
- Health & Social Care roles have rocketed, but applications have not
- Furlough scheme is continuing to wind down, with employer costs increasing from August 1st
- Government roadmap out of lockdown gives confidence to candidates
Health & Social Care job vacancies up by over a third since June
Welcoming yet another record-breaking number of vacancies, Reed.co.uk saw an increase of 9,616 jobs posted in July compared to June. With almost 325,000 roles advertised during the month, the sector with the most significant rise in vacancies was Health & Social Care.
After suffering considerably in the pandemic with closures and tight restrictions on staff, appointments and visitors, the Health & Social Care sector has seen job vacancies spring to life, with over 42,000 roles compared to last month’s 28,644. As restrictions continue to lift, the industry will assess the backlog of healthcare provisions caused by the pandemic and look for practical ways to recover. Career changers and Brexit will have also had a profound effect on the sector, so backfilling with people on the ground to help make some headway back to pre-pandemic levels will be crucial.
Hospitality (-20%) and HR (-4%) vacancies have decreased following a bumper month in June, suggesting that businesses requiring these employees posted jobs ahead of time to be ready for the country opening back up.
Financial Services (-16%), IT (-17%) and Education (-11%) also continue to stay down in vacancies available – however, all are hugely up on vacancy figures seen when looking year-on-year.
Government delivers confidence boost to job seekers
Mondays are, not surprisingly, the peak of the week for candidate registrations following a weekend of reflection. July saw a substantial spike on Monday 5th, with 6,170 new registrations logged on Reed.co.uk – compared to the average daily rate of 3,542.
Monday 5th July was the day Boris Johnson gave his official statement, delivering the roadmap out of lockdown and marking so-called ‘Freedom Day’ as Monday 19th of July. Following the announcement, these figures suggest newfound confidence in people looking for work – responding with their CVs to the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.
Demand for Hospitality roles increases as other industries vie for jobseekers’ attention
Hospitality & Catering roles saw a welcome, if expected, rise in applications during July. One of only three sectors to see an increase, applications to Hospitality roles increased by +13% compared to June, following the massive influx of vacancies posted once the government announced the easing of lockdown restrictions. With the country remaining open and catering for the millions of staycations taking place across the UK, Hospitality is likely to see a healthy boost economically – where it has suffered so much in the last 18 months.
Administration is still a stand-out sector for applications, as was the case in June. Of the 1.8 million applications made in July overall on Reed.co.uk, 19% of those were made to administration roles, the highest rate of all applications, despite a decidedly average turn-out of jobs posted month-on-month.
Otherwise, applications remain down across the board – as is being widely reported in the media. Further cementing that businesses are competing for workers in a truly candidate-led market. This trend has been the case for the last quarter and doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.
Is Health & Social Care suffering from bad PR?
Perhaps a key casualty of the candidate-driven market is Health & Social Care. Vacancy numbers are up as stated above, but applications are down -9%. As a result, the number of applicants to roles is only 2:1. So, rather than seeing many job openings that welcome decent numbers of applications per role and diminish the competition, the demand for Health & Social Care roles doesn’t appear to be there – leaving employers scrambling for quality staff.
This could be down to several reasons. It wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that the sector may not have the most attractive employment proposition right now. Salaries are stagnant, hours long and pressure high as the country – and sector – continues dealing with the pandemic. Combined with a feeling of nervousness around a still very present pandemic, you have many contributing factors. Some private firms are offering as much as £10,000 in bonuses to entice people into the sector**. While this works for some, it isn’t sustainable or doable for the whole industry, so a different tactic may need to be employed.
Looking ahead: A focus on furlough
Though applications remain a challenge, the employment market is heading in a positive direction, and confidence is building in individual sectors.
The next hurdle to cross will be the curtain falling further on the furlough scheme, which is due to change again in August. From the 1st of August, employers will have to pay at least 20% of employee’s salaries, with the government picking up 60%. The increased onus on employers makes a significant difference in monthly payments for employers to keep furloughed staff. So, for example, a furloughed employee earning £20,000 costing £155 per month in June and £322 in July, will rise to £489 in August and September as the scheme comes to a close. This rise in cost will impact SMEs hugely in particular, plus those businesses where the bounceback after lockdown hasn’t entirely been reflected in the need to have all their staff back and working.
While the July Labour Market Overview* from The Office of National Statistics reports that the redundancy rate from March to May 2021 has returned to pre-pandemic levels, the end of furlough could change all that with redundancies predicted over the summer as a direct result of the scheme finishing.