Resilience in Lockdown 2.0
Since the first lockdown, we have kept a close eye on each recruitment sector and their performance during this period. This report will provide you with a brief insight into the activity of each major sector this month and how it compares to the previous months activity.
The recruitment sector has made a good recovery from the depths of the first lockdown and considering the dreaded ‘Lockdown 2.0’ it has managed to be resilient going into the last part of 2020 with an all-round increase in our top 10 recruitment sectors of 2.76 per cent this month.
The recruitment market has long been touted as a key barometer of the economy, and 2020 has been a testing time for that statement. The Global Pandemic isn’t over yet, and there may be some testing times still ahead, but the market is holding its ground, and we are hoping for an even bigger come back in the new year.
Construction is one of the sectors that saw a drastic decrease in activity at the start of the global pandemic. With site closures across the country at the end of March, we saw activity in this sector drop by over 53 per cent in April. The easing of the lockdown restrictions was the start of the construction industry comeback. Since June, activity has continued to grow at a healthy pace, with this month’s activity over 58 per cent higher than that of April. This month has seen a slight decrease in activity of 1.12 per cent, but we have put this down to the sector calming down slightly after the spike in activity, post-Lockdown 1.0.
The start of lockdown caused reduced activity for both Industrial and Engineering. A reduction in the workforce in these environments meant that recruitment took a hit in both sectors. Industrial activity fell rapidly in April, mainly due to workers unable to carry out their work remotely. Engineering activity also decreased in the first month of lockdown due to projects being put on hold until stability was certain. But there was some peaks during the lockdown, due to the requirements to innovate in a time of crisis. Both sectors have shown good recovery since and considering the second Lockdown, Industrial has continued to increase by 1.29 per cent this month. In contrast, Engineering has demonstrated a drop this month by 19.65 per cent. This may have been caused by a stop in projects again, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the lead up to Christmas, going back into tiered restrictions.
After schools were closed during the first lockdown, demand for teachers was reduced until schools reopened in September. Since then, the Education sector has continued to increase, and last month activity reached a height of over 75 per cent increase in comparison to April. We believe this is due to emergency substitute teachers and assistants requested to cover for staff forced to isolate, after positive COVID-19 tests. Activity hit a lull this month, with a 23.48 per cent decrease, but this would have been due to the school holidays.
Healthcare was steady during the first lockdown period, but just like the reduction in COVID-19 cases during the summer, recruitment in the healthcare sector reduced slightly. Come September, we saw an increase in activity, and it has continued to do so since. Strangely, we have seen a slight reduction in activity of 0.19 per cent in November, but this may bounce back in the last week of data still to come. It will be interesting to see if the Healthcare activity continues to follow a similar trend to the virus itself.
IT saw an increase in demand, due to adapting businesses switching their workforce to remote. This demand caused IT activity to rapidly grow in April by over 35 per cent and then steady back down to regular business during the second quarter of the year. This month has seen the sector continue to grow with a 15.10 per cent increase. We predict that this is due to businesses continuing plans to use technology as part of their mission to become more efficient and continue to work remotely, moving forward.
The Driving and Commercial sectors both decreased slightly in the first month, mainly because of other sectors affected in the supply chain. But the activity levels managed to stabilise in May through to July. This stability primarily comes from the need for key workers in both sectors to fulfil the supply chain during the lockdown period. Since the end of July, we have seen them continue to increase, after other sectors started to open. And they have both continued to do so since, hitting heights of activity this month; Driving 3.45 per cent and Commercial a massive 19.00 per cent.
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