Job vacancies remain stable under latest lockdown restrictions – study

The number of new job openings has remained stable under the most recent UK lockdown restrictions and higher than last spring, according to new research.

Around 137,000 new job advertisements were placed in the first week of March, with tradespeople such as roofers, plasterers, gardeners and decorators seeing significant growth, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

There has been a notable surge in job advertisements in East and West Dunbartonshire, the Isle of Wight and West Northants, while the London job market continued to struggle and the number of new advertisements fell by 15%, the report said.

Neil Carberry, REC CEO, said, “These new job posting numbers show how resilient the job market has been from this lockdown and are a good reminder that we are in a much better place than we were at the height of the pandemic.

“Attitudes should recover in the coming months as more people are vaccinated and restrictions are lifted.”

The news comes a day after John Lewis Partnership (JLP) warned of further department store closings after the pandemic resulted in their first annual loss.

The group, which includes upscale grocery chain Waitrose, doesn’t expect all John Lewis stores to reopen at the end of the lockdown, but that closings and job losses would have been more severe without some relief to state corporate rates.

The chairman of the department chain, Sharon White, said: “It cannot be overlooked that some areas can no longer run a John Lewis store profitably.

“Unfortunately, we don’t expect all of our John Lewis stores to reopen at the end of the lockdown, which will affect our supply chain as well.

“We are currently in talks with landlords and the final decisions are expected by the end of March.

“We will do all we can to reduce the impact and continue to provide community funding to support local areas.”

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