Hiring in the UK has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but it is unlikely to improve at a rate that will offset the nation’s rising unemployment, according to new data from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. The data suggests that as the UK grapples to contain COVID-19, hiring may have hit a ceiling.
As the UK furlough scheme comes to an end, and with more than 1.5 million people already out of work according to the Office for National Statistics, the country is facing a very challenging jobs market. Job seekers face stiff competition for roles, with applications per job up 64% compared to this time last year. LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index finds that people working in the sectors hit hardest by the global pandemic, including Recreation & Travel, Media and Entertainment, are the least confident about their job prospects in the next 12 months.
As countries around the world face a second wave of infections, LinkedIn’s data also suggests that avoiding a lockdown to preserve the economy doesn’t improve the national hiring picture in the long run, with Sweden tracking behind other European countries.
However, LinkedIn data shows there are pockets of hiring growth, with 14+ million jobs available on LinkedIn globally. UK employers are currently hiring for Project Manager, Customer Service and Software Engineer roles. Furthermore, LinkedIn has identified 10 jobs that have experienced steady growth over the last several years and predict will continue to grow in demand by employers in the future, including Digital Marketer, Graphic Designer and Data Analyst. Digital skills in particular are in demand, with LinkedIn data forecasting the technology sector will add 150 million jobs globally in the next 5 years.
Josh Graff, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, said: “As the furlough scheme draws to a close, there is huge anxiety across the country about what is going to happen to people’s jobs. Many people working in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, such as Travel, Entertainment and Hospitality, have seen their lives and livelihoods completely devastated this year and are questioning what to do next. Focusing on transferable skills can help open up a variety of roles that people may not have previously considered. Skills can be applied to different jobs or industries, creating new employment opportunities. Likewise, investing time in developing new skills, being proactive in your job search and engaging your professional network is key to finding a new job quickly.”