UK job applications surge as furlough scheme comes to an end

·2-min read
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Unemployment levels are expected to increase as the government's furlough scheme comes to an end. Photo: Getty

Job applications grew by 34% across the UK in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest job market data from job board CV-Library.

The number of job vacancies also increased by 79% between Q2 and Q3 2020. However, the number of roles advertised between July and September is still over 30% lower than at the start of the year, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit UK employment.

“This data clearly shows that the UK job market has started to recover from the national lockdown in March, but we still have a long way to go. However, it’s likely that this new found confidence may be short lived,” said Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library.

Fresh COVID-19 curbs put in place by the government, including a 10pm curfew for hospitality venues, as well as the uncertainty surrounding future restrictions “will force businesses to put a freeze on their hiring plans,” said Biggins.

This is likely to coincide with the end of the government’s job retention furlough scheme, which is due to come to end at the end of October. Unemployment levels are expected to increase as it is replaced by the less generous Job Support scheme.

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The number of job applications per vacancy in the third quarter was 79% higher than during the same period last year.

The administration industry saw the highest growth in applications quarter-on-quarter, with applications up 90%.

This is followed by recruitment, which saw applications rise by 86%, marketing (up 79%), sales (up 78%), telecoms (up 75%), and legal (up 62%).

The finance industry saw a growth of 59% in applications amid reports that more than 7,500 finance jobs have left Britain for the European Union due to uncertainty over Brexit, according to consultants EY this month.

Education experienced a rise a 52% rise in applications, electronics saw a 47% rise and applications for construction jobs were up 45%.

Unemployment levels stand at 4.5% across the UK, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is 0.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.

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