Retail employers “hiring at close to pre-Covid pace” as lockdown exit nears

Retail employers
Retailers are recruiting staff as they prepare to reopen from lockdown
// Retail vacancies have increased to within 14% of their pre-pandemic levels, according to Indeed
// In recent days, job postings on Indeed showed the biggest one-week gain since February

Retailers are starting to recruit staff at near pre-Covid levels as non-essential shops in England and Wales prepare to exit lockdown and reopen, new research suggests.

Retail vacancies have increased to within 14 per cent of their pre-pandemic levels, according to jobs site Indeed.

Job availabilities in the retail sector plunged during the first nationwide lockdown in spring last year, but have bounced back following the road map to recovery, the report said.


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In recent days, job postings on Indeed showed the biggest one-week gain since February.

A study of non-food stores posting the most new jobs since February is dominated by DIY outlets, which have been allowed to remain open during lockdown and benefited from a boom in demand for home improvements, Indeed said.

“The road maps out of lockdown gave many retailers all the incentive they needed to ramp up their hiring, and the Prime Minister’s confirmation that non-essential retail can reopen in England next week looks set to trigger another spike in job postings,” Jack Kennedy of Indeed said.

“The news that retail employers are at last hiring at close to their pre-Covid pace will be music to the ears of the thousands of jobseekers who have struggled for over a year to find work in hard-hit sectors like retail and hospitality.

“We can expect to see shoppers flocking back to the high street in coming weeks as they experiment with browsing in a physical shop for the first time in months, providing a much-needed boost to the economy.

“Online shopping has boomed during the pandemic, and retailers’ high demand for delivery drivers and loaders suggests many expect the trend to continue even after high street stores reopen.”

Meanwhile, separate research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG indicated that permanent placements across all industries in recent weeks showed the biggest increase for almost six years.

Their research among 400 recruitment and employment consultancies also showed a big increase in temporary jobs.

The number of vacancies also increased, while pay rates on offer for permanent and temporary jobs increased for the first time in three months, said REC and KPMG’s report.

The study also indicated that the availability of candidates remained the same, largely due to concerns around how secure any new employment would be, said the report.

with PA Wires

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