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UK job adverts surge back to pre-pandemic level

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Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
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Jobs in catering and hospitality saw some of the biggest increases. Photo: Reuters
Jobs in catering and hospitality saw some of the biggest increases. Photo: Reuters

UK online job adverts have returned to pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the crisis began.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday said job postings were now at the same level they were in February 2020, before the pandemic began and lockdown restrictions were introduced.

Legal and hospitality jobs saw some of the biggest increases but vacancies increased across 16 out of the 28 industries measured. The report cited data collected by Adzuna, a search engine for job ads.

Catering and hospitality jobs rose by 10 percentage points to 58% of their February 2020 average as the sector re-hired people ahead of reopening.

Chart: ONS
Chart: ONS

12 April saw the re-opening of 'non-essential' retail, including outdoor operations for hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars.

The ONS report estimated that UK diner reservations at the start of this week were at 79% of levels seen two years earlier.

READ MORE: Hiring boom in finance as London job listings surge

“We have seen a marked shift in the number of companies seeking to book and organise events in recent weeks," said Jo Ferreday, managing director of hospitality and events company Sheer Edge. 

"The economy is starting to open up and many hospitality businesses are beginning to hire staff so that they can hit the ground running when things hopefully return to normal in the not-too-distant future."

Separate data published on Thursday by specialist recruiter Morgan McKinley showed London finance vacancies had surged 70% as business confidence increases.

While most sectors saw rising or flat job postings, some industries registered declines. The largest decrease was in travel and tourism, where listings fell by 16 percentage points to 84% of February 2020 levels.

International travel and indoor door hospitality venues will have to wait until at least 17 May to see restrictions lifted.

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