The market forces leading to a jobs boom in certain industries
As 2020 rolls on and the pandemic continues to cause havoc across the globe, the labour market remains turbulent. The latest ONS figures have revealed that in the three months to September redundancies climbed to a record high of 314,000, with many being made redundant as the furlough scheme wound up – the extension came too late to save many jobs.
With another nationwide lockdown in England and further restrictions throughout the UK, many industries that were already struggling have had to close once more. Jobs are literally falling away in some sectors. And it seems that the young continue to be disproportionately affected, with the unemployment rate amongst 16-24-year-olds soaring to 14.6%, accounting for more than half of the fall in employment this year.
On the flip side, certain industries are experiencing a boom, largely because of the pandemic. Could re-skilling allow those who have suddenly found themselves unemployed to apply for jobs in these sectors be part of the solution? We uncover the industries that are hiring, investigate what is causing them to boom and look at where their future may lie post-Covid.
IT and Internet
The pandemic has, almost overnight, forced the world to turn online. As remote working became the norm and socialising existed through a screen, online communications businesses and internet providers boomed. WaveTrackR’s October report found that IT & Internet posted the highest percentage of jobs across every sector, accounting for 17% of the total. This rise in demand has simply accelerated a movement that was already in motion as digitalisation rapidly grows and is therefore likely only to increase further.
It is something that hasn’t escaped the attention of many who have found themselves unemployed during the crisis. A report by tech recruiters CWJobs found that over half of previously non-tech jobseekers are considering a career change in the IT sector and more than one in ten have already made the move. Many of those jobs offered training and up-skilling to those looking to pursue a career in the industry. For those looking to make the move, the report found that nearly three in ten believed their careers would be better future-proofed if they developed greater IT skills. And a massive 81% of IT workers confirmed that they would welcome talent from outside the tech industry. For an industry that has long experience a skills gap, this surge in interest in IT & Internet can only be a good thing.
Health & Nursing and Public Sector
It is perhaps unsurprising that the pandemic has caused the healthcare sector to increase hiring, with Health & Nursing accounting for 8% of all jobs posted through WaveTrackR. Private healthcare providers such as care home workers and agency staff for hospitals are in great need of talent, as are the NHS. Falling under Public Sector, which accounted for a massive 15% of all jobs posted through WaveTrackR, the NHS has been searching for more doctors, nurses and support workers to aid their severely stretched teams. Given the fallout the pandemic is having on hospital care and treatment for diseases such as cancer, plus the fact that the UK has an ageing population and a historic skills gap in the sector, this is a trend that is likely to continue far beyond the end of the pandemic.
As we all adapt to the new world that the pandemic has forced upon us, a huge number of new policies have been needed to be implemented at speed, and with that new roles and additional staffing have been created to manage and undertake them. Public Sector jobs in health and social care, government and education have therefore multiplied in order to keep essential services going and meet the needs of a Covid and post-Covid world.
Despite renewed restrictions, lockdowns and slowing economic growth, Property has been booming for some months now. September’s WaveTrackR data report revealed that Property posted 24% of all jobs across every sector recorded and in October it accounted for 12%, remaining within the top five industries for job posts. Property prices are soaring, rising at the fastest annual rate in over four years according to the Halifax House Price Index. This can be partly attributed to the government’s stamp duty holiday, due to end in March. It is also down to lifestyle changes, notably a rise in the desire to relocate from cities to properties with more outdoor space in rural areas. With more people working from home many are looking for larger properties with space for a home office. The furlough scheme propping up wages has undoubtedly contributed too.
Will this trend continue? Analysts predict that this is unlikely, with Howard Archer, the chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club (a leading UK economic forecasting group), believing that the inflated prices we are currently seeing will prove unsustainable “sooner rather than later”. Unemployment is likely to continue to rise, even with the furlough extension, and the end of the Brexit transition in December will likely contribute to a drop in house prices.
Bridging the gap
The pandemic has instigated a yawning gap between sectors, where some are making redundancies in large volumes and others have plenty of jobs available and needing to be filled but without the requisite numbers of candidates to apply for them. Other areas on a hiring drive include warehousing, logistics, online and supermarket retail, and cleaning, all of which are likely to continue to flourish thanks to changing trends. There is an opportunity here for those looking for work in an incredibly crowded market, by turning to industries that are actively hiring, utilising transferable skills and re-skilling where necessary. This is true for everyone but could be enormously helpful for the 16-24-year-olds that have been particularly affected by the fallout from the pandemic.
An opportunity also presents itself to employers in sectors with a high number of jobs available but without enough talent to fill the positions – as a recruiter, you can urge your clients to look at soft and transferable skills and possibly offer on-the-job training where necessary. The upside of this is that workers coming in from other industries could bring a fresh perspective. Somehow we need to bridge the gap between those looking for work and industries desperately looking for talent. Recruiters can be that bridge, helping candidates to pivot at the same time as urging clients in job-heavy industries to be open to candidates without direct industry experience. We all want to get the jobs market and the economy moving again and this could be one path towards that.