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Coronavirus: Industries where jobs are rising amid lockdown

Kalila Sangster
·3-min read
A Job Centre Plus sign is seen outside its central London office. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Jobs soared in the public sector in the first quarter of 2020, with numbers up 107%. (Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Although the UK labour market experienced a slowdown in the first three months of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, certain industries saw job postings rise, according to a new report.

Jobs soared in the public sector, with numbers up 107% making this the best sector for finding a job, according to latest quarterly job market report from job board CV-Library.

Jobs in agriculture doubled as coronavirus travel restrictions limited seasonal labour flows from abroad and environment secretary George Eustice encouraged British workers to “fill that gap,” with the seasonal horticultural labour force overwhelmingly from the EU.

Social care jobs also rose by 20% in the first quarter of 2020.

However, some industries did experience a drop in applications as the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

Jobs in catering were down 53% as restaurants and pubs were closed as part of the nationwide lockdown.

Read more: UK unemployment rose just as COVID-19 hit

Sales jobs fell by 24%, job numbers in the automotive industry were down 23%, and administration jobs were down 16.7%.

Since the data reflects the period from January to March 2020, the numbers are likely to have fallen further as lay-offs have soared and hiring stalled with adverse impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown on firms.

More than 1.4 million people have applied for the universal credit benefit since the crisis began. Surveys show hiring has fallen at its fastest pace since the financial crisis. Hospitality chiefs say hundreds of thousands of staff have lost jobs in their sector as venues have shut.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library said: “It has been a tumultuous start to the year, and this is having a massive impact on UK businesses and the wider economy.

“Despite this, companies in certain industries are still recruiting, so if you’re currently out of work because of COVID-19, it might be worth considering these sectors if you haven’t already.

“That said, it’s important to approach your job hunt with caution. Be wary that there may well be delays in the decision-making process and while job numbers are on the rise in these sectors, the start dates may not be for a good few months in industries like hospitality. You’ll also have to get to grips with video interviewing and impressing employers virtually, so get practising if you can.”

The data also shows that applications to new jobs increased by a marginal 0.8% year-on-year and a larger 27.3% quarter-on-quarter.

Read more: Coronavirus: 140,000 firms have applied for UK government furlough scheme

The locations with the largest increases in applications year-on-year include Northern Ireland, which was up 8.5%, the South East (up 5%), Scotland (up 3.7%), the East of England (up 2.2%) and the South West (up 2%).

Biggins said: “The job market has been largely candidate driven for a number of years now, but this is starting to shift and there’s going to be a lot more competition for the roles that are available.

“It’s difficult to predict how the labour market will perform in the next quarter and we know that organisations are suffering badly at the helm of COVID-19. If you’re out of work, hang on in there and keep and eye out for opportunities daily; they are cropping up, so preparation and persistence is key.”

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