Retail job numbers nose dive in the first quarter of the year

Boris Johnson says plans to relax Sunday trading laws are “under review”
A group of rebel Conservative MPs have expressed their concerns over relaxing Sunday trading restrictions.
// Retail job numbers in the UK plummet by 14% year-on-year in Q1 2020, according to CV-Library
// Compared to the previous quarter, it plunged 24.6%
// But according to Adzuna, retail job vacancies nose dived 57% in the last few weeks

New data has revealed that demand for retail jobs has nose dived amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the sector being among the worst-hit in terms of job vacancy numbers.

According to the latest quarterly job market report from CV-Library, retail job adverts in the first quarter of the year dropped by 14 per cent year-on-year, or 24.6 per cent when compared to the final quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile rival jobs site Adzuna said retail job vacancies plunged by 57 per cent since the lockdown started on March 24.


CV-Library found that the overall job market activity the first quarter of the year had slowed, and that the retail industry experienced the sixth-biggest drop in job adverts out of all the sectors analysed.

Adzuna suggested that advertised job vacancies fell by over 50 per cent since the coronavirus lockdown started, with retail also being among the worst-hit.

The UK is also worst-hit when it comes to job vacancy reductions worldwide, suffering steeper reductions than in countries including the US and Australia, said Adzuna.

Despite this, CV-Library said average pay for UK retail jobs during the first quarter increased by 5.8 per cent year-on-year or 3.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

In addition, applications to new jobs in the UK have risen by a marginal 0.8 per cent year-on-year or 27.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

However, when looking at data for the retail industry specifically, CV-Library said applications fell by 24.3 per cent year-on-year.

“It really has been a tumultuous start to the year and it’s having a massive impact on retailers and the wider economy,” CV-Library chief executive Lee Biggins said.

“While measures are being put in place to protect companies and their employees, the reality is that both Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic will have long-lasting effects on the UK labour market and we’re already starting to see this in the retail industry.

“The job market has been largely candidate driven for a number of years now and this meant that businesses had no choice but to hike up their pay packets in order to attract applicants to their roles.

“However, this is set to change. Unemployment rates are set to soar in the coming months and this could be financially devastating for UK professionals.”

Biggins added: “We know that a lot of people are out of work right now and while applications have fallen, this may well be because of the drop in jobs.

“It’s difficult to predict how the labour market will perform in the next quarter, but sadly, it doesn’t look promising.

“While more professionals will be keen to find new job opportunities, organisations are suffering badly at the helm of Covid-19 and many are holding back on their hiring efforts as a result.”

Adzume co-founder Andrew Hunter said: “Key sectors in the UK job market have taken another hit this week after the government announced an additional three weeks of lockdown to control the spread of the virus.

“The UK has now lost over half of all advertised positions across the country and is showing little sign of recovery, as economic uncertainty continues to grow and job security continues to fall.”

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