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COVID prompts boom in demand for couriers

DUBLIN, IRELAND - 2021/02/13: Couriers from Just Eat and Deliveroo food delivery companies seen in Dublin city center,  during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Level 5 lockdown restrictions are set to be extended by Irish Government, by at least another six weeks with only schools and the construction sector likely to be allowed to reopen before Easter. (Photo by Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Food takeaway services have seen an unprecedented surge in demand as the lockdown saw restaurants shuttered for most of the year. Photo: Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images (SOPA Images via Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic has seen a boost in demand for couriers across the UK.

According to research by Paymentsense the most in-demand job amid the pandemic was couriers.

There were 3.3 million courier job vacancies in 2020 alone — a 14% increase compared with the beginning of the year.

Salesmen followed closely behind with 1.7 million jobs advertised last year although the role has seen a 41.53% decline from January 2020 to January 2021.

The study showed a significant increase in civil service roles, rising by 416.6% in 2020. This was higher than any other job role.

Official figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows online shopping jumped from a fifth to a third of all purchases made in the UK, due to COVID crisis.


Online online increased to 36.1% in February 2021. This was the highest on record, compared with 35.2% in January 2021 and 20.0% reported in February 2020.

The sector grew by by 46.1% last year — the fastest annual growth since 2008, according to the ONS.

Chart: Yahoo Finance
The most in-demand jobs in the UK in 2020. Chart: Paymentsense

READ MORE: Deliveroo shares under pressure again as stock market woes continue

Food takeaway services have also seen an unprecedented surge in demand as the lockdown saw restaurants shuttered for most of the year.

In March, Takeaway platform Just Eat Takeaway (JET.L) reported that revenues rose by 54% to €2.4bn ($2.9bn,£2bn).

It said that it expected a "further acceleration" of growth in orders for 2021, with UK orders up 88% since the start of the year and delivery orders up over 600% compared with the first two months of 2020.

The company, which operates across Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, and parts of South America, said that it had delivered 179 million orders in the UK in 2020 alone.

Research from Barclaycard, showed ordering takeaways reached a record high during the period, up 32.6%, and online retail remained strong with a 73.2% rise, accounting for 54.9% of all retail spend last month.

WATCH: Just Eat expects to create 1,000 UK jobs as it launches new agency worker model