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Coronavirus: Half of open jobs disappear since COVID-19 outbreak

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A woman wearing a face mask to protect against coronvirus, walks over London Bridge in London, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A woman wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, walks over London Bridge. (Alberto Pezzali/AP)

The number of job opportunities in the UK has plunged by almost half (46%) since the beginning of March, according to the latest jobs data for the week up to 11 May from job site Glassdoor.

However, the rate of change seems to be slowing, with job openings falling just 2% between 4 and 11 May and 3% in the week before, compared with 13% per week in the last two weeks of March.

The data comes as new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show unemployment claims surged by 69.1% in Britain swiftly after the coronavirus lockdown began, with unemployment hitting 2.1 million.

“The rate at which the UK job market is folding in on itself is slowing, but that doesn’t mask the fact that there are suddenly many more job seekers around and only half as many jobs to go for,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor.

Half of open jobs disappear since COVID-19
Weekly change in UK job openings. (Glassdoor)

“The competition for these coveted roles will be intense and the time to get hired will naturally slow down for most people.”

Consumer services and tech jobs have seen the biggest falls with the largest weekly drop in job openings in the consumer services industry, particularly media, publishing, arts and entertainment.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Rolls-Royce to cut at least 9,000 jobs

This trend strongly suggests that advertising and commercial revenue in the media sector has collapsed and that the lockdown has had a significant impact on activity in the arts and entertainment sectors.

“With the collapse in advertising revenues, the media sector is suffering a large weekly contraction in open jobs. The tech industry is not far behind this week but has weathered the storm far better since the beginning of the pandemic than media, publishing and other consumer services such as arts, entertainment, automotive, travel and tourism,” said Zhao

Change in Job openings by industry.
Weekly change in job openings by industry. (Glassdoor)
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