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Number of UK job openings rise but fewer applications made in August

A Jobcentre Plus office in north west London. (Nick Ansell/PA Archive/PA Images)
A Jobcentre Plus office in north west London. (Nick Ansell/PA Archive/PA Images)

Job applications dropped in August, despite the number of roles being advertised steadily increasing, data shows.

The number of job applications fell by 8.2% last month, even though job postings rose 2.8% month-on-month, job board CV-Library revealed.

Some locations saw significantly larger-than-average drops, with Cardiff and Sheffield, in particular, seeing 15% fewer applications.

Newcastle and Leeds also saw larger-than-average fall of 10%, while Portsmouth saw a drop of 9%.

Meanwhile, many major cities experienced a significant surge in job postings, the data shows.

READ MORE: UK graduate jobs fall but those who get one are getting paid more

Taking the lead, Glasgow saw job advertisements shoot up almost a fifth (18%) month-on-month.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen (14%), Brighton (14%), Southampton (10%) and Bristol (9%) also had more job opportunities than in July.

However, overall job figures are still down by a massive 42.2% year-on-year, CV-Library revealed.

What’s more, salaries dropped by 1.5% month-on-month, with key industries such as manufacturing (6%), marketing (6%), retail (5%) and social care (5%) taking harder hits.

It’s surprising that applications have dropped so significantly; especially given that the government’s Job Retention Scheme is coming to an end in a matter of weeks, CV-Libary said.

READ MORE: The great jobs that don't require a degree

However, it's “important to remember that August is typically a slower month for job searching – even during a pandemic”, founder Lee Biggins explained.

He added: If you are actively looking for work, or are concerned that you may lose your job once the furlough scheme is over, it’s important to use this time to your advantage.”

Despite the month-on-month drop, the number of applications is still significantly higher than last year — up 8.1% since August 2019, CV-Library’s figures show.

In fact, some cities saw massive year-on-year increases, such as Brighton, where applications are up 42%.

Southampton (31%) and Bristol (28%) also experienced big rises in job applications.

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The industries which saw the largest jump in applications year-on-year include education (up 49%), IT (up 35.2%), engineering (up 25.8%) and property (up 20.6%).

“If you’re looking for a new job this month, you need to get applying now,” Biggins advised.

“September tends to come with a ‘back to school’ feeling, where many job seekers will refocus their efforts on finding a new role. Unfortunately, this means you don’t have much time before competition ramps back up.”

“It’s absolutely vital to put as much effort into your applications as possible. This means researching each company thoroughly and tailoring your CV and cover letter to every role you apply for.”