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about 2 months ago by Executive Grapevine

Jobs applications nosedive due to COVID

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Research has indicated that the number of jobseekers applying for roles in December 2020 was at its lowest in five years, with 2.2million job applications made.

Despite the current unemployment rate, Broadbean Technology has found that there was a 34% drop in the number of people applying for jobs last month when compared to the same time in 2019. It also revealed that there were 45% less applications than in December 2016.

Broadbean’s data discovered that the number of vacancies being advertised were down slightly less (this equates to 32%), which suggests that many people took ‘a holiday’ from their employment search likely due to high levels of uncertainty impacting confidence levels at the end of 2020.

Plus, this fall in applicant numbers also ties in with the recent furlough extension, suggesting many employers have made use of the jobs support scheme.

Commenting on these findings, Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology, shared that the data suggests there is now a divergence from seasonal fluctuations that are seen towards the end of a year.

“While 2020 was a year like no other and the impact the pandemic had on vacancy levels comes as no surprise, what is interesting – and perhaps quite unexpected – is that jobseekers were seemingly missing from the market in December,” Fourlis explained.

“Our data shows a divergence from the normal seasonal fluctuations we see at the end of the year and, due to the effects of covid and the extension of the furlough scheme, this past December saw a large decline in jobseeker activity. In fact, we saw the lowest applicant rate in five years that was lower than the decline in jobs posted due to the holidays.”

Despite the third lockdown, the research uncovered that vacancies were up by four per cent in the first week of January when compared to the middle of December. This would suggest that many employers are remaining resilient against the crisis.

Fourlis continued: “Looking forward, however, it is encouraging to see that 2021 has got off to a good start with vacancy levels up when compared to the middle of December.

“It remains to be seen how the employment market fares in the coming weeks and months, though. With the vaccination programme in full swing and many employers better able to facilitate remote working we are quietly confident that the positivity we have seen so far will continue.”​

Source: Recruitment Grapevine