The WaveTrackR March Report has revealed that the final month of the financial year was an extraordinary month for job postings.
At 179% above the 2020 average, jobs grew by more than 50% from the previous month – a sure sign that business confidence is returning. Applications also climbed, but at a slower rate than jobs, something we haven’t seen since before the pandemic.
Other key findings from the report include a continuation of high jobs and applications figures for IT & Internet, a slight decline in the average number of applications per job across all industries, and a rapid increase in applications per job in the Travel, Leisure & Tourism sector.
The surge in jobs we’ve seen in March is the best indicator yet that the government’s roadmap and vaccination rollout are working to return confidence to the jobs market and allow the economy to begin to recover.
WaveTrackR’s week by week data findings reveal a steady upwards trajectory in jobs being posted from the second week of February onwards, with the sharpest rise seen in the final week of March when they reached a record 196% above the 2020 average. Applications also grew, to 137% above the 2020 average but had a bumpier journey. They largely climbed from the beginning of February but dropped from +135% to 111% above the 2020 average in the last week of March. What we’re seeing here could be partially explained by the jobs growth.
The huge numbers of unemployed workers are gradually finding jobs, reducing the bulging candidate pool – great news for candidates, employers and recruiters alike.
So why the sudden rapid increase in jobs? The reopening of schools, continued efficiency and speed in the UK’s vaccination programme and good signs for the roadmap to progress as planned has clearly encouraged businesses to look forwards towards a very bright light at the end of the tunnel and begin hiring again.
With pubs and restaurants opening outside and hairdressers, nail salons, non-essential shops, holiday lets, theme parks and zoos, gyms and leisure centres also all reopening on 12th April, many businesses will have resumed hiring in March to ensure they have adequate staffing in time. Industries that have been shut for months and have yo-yo’d between opening and closing, partially or completely, for a year now are finally being given the green light to begin to reopen – this time hopefully for good – and they want to be fully prepared.