It’s been a month since the last Jobs Outlook figures from the REC outlined what we all knew was happening in the market. This month’s latest figures follow on from that saying that we are experiencing the sharpest fall in temp and permanent billings in decades coupled with a drop in salary levels. The news today of the economy shrinking by 20% during April will be of no surprise to anyone.
I think we’d almost got used to low demand levels and a pessimistic market outlook to the extent that over the past few weeks the slight upturn we’ve seen has felt like light at the end of the tunnel. The South West’s weekly earning data according to the ONS are among the highest of the UK’s 12 regions. The feeling we have from the market is a determination to continue to cope and adjust to new market conditions and it’s been reflected in increased recruitment activity, definitely compared to April and the start of May.
The easing of some of the lockdown measures has certainly fed some very cautious optimism with a number of our clients and vacancy levels for Cathedral appointments are 50% up on what they were in April. It’s also true to say that the number of people looking for new roles has increased dramatically and we have seen a steep increase in the number of new job seekers. We continue to offer help, guidance and market insight to those jobseekers who find themselves on the job market at this time.
The governments potential July stimulus package is set to include a focus on retraining and developing new skills so it seems adaptability will be the key to success for jobseekers for the rest of the year. Adaptability for employers is also going to be key to riding out this uncertainty and we’ve seen a host of our clients pivoting and creating new revenue streams to get productivity moving again.
Despite all current circumstances it’s hugely encouraging to see that our region is one of the top performing in the UK and it reflects what we already know about the talent and tenacity of local business to pull through this. We are most certainly Stronger Together as a business community.