Lockdown prompts jump in job searches

An unexpected consequence of the pandemic lockdown and consequent rise in home working has been a surge in the number of people in the UK considering a change in job.

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Research by employment law specialists Richard Nelson LLP shows there was a 130 per cent increase in the number of people investigating job changes on Google Trends in May compared to the number in January - traditionally the busiest month for contemplating a career move.And the latest monthly report from jobs board CV-Library found a 6.6 per cent, month-on-month rise in job searches in May, with construction, sales and HR being the sectors attracting most interest.CV-Library board looked at the number of searches made for jobs on its site between May 1-25 and found growing numbers also looking at vacancies in marketing, finance, IT, engineering and retail.Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, said: “It’s a really unusual time for the UK labour market. We have people who have been made redundant and desperately need a new role; people who have been placed on furlough but actually want to get back to work, and people who may have been looking for a job before lockdown who are picking their searches back up as the economy starts to show signs of recovery.“As a result, demand for jobs is continuing to increase and this is widespread across a huge variety of sectors.  “At the same time, there will be an abundance of school, college and university leavers entering the job market in the coming months and our data shows that searches for apprenticeship and graduate positions have climbed significantly. This is good news for businesses who are hiring, but whether there will be enough jobs out there to meet this demand currently remains to be seen.” CV-Library also found that the number of vacancies posted on its site increased by 5.4 per cent, week-on-week, during May.Mr Biggins said it was "reassuring" to see that job vacancies were continuing to climb, even though they had yet to return to pre-lockdown levels.
“However, as more businesses start to return to work and open up their services to customers, we should see these figures rise throughout June and beyond," he added."This should be welcome news to professionals who may be out of work right now and we hope we can continue to connect eager job hunters with relevant opportunities from the nation’s top employers and recruitment companies.”Meanwhile, the research by Richard Nelson concluded that, with an estimated 42 per cent of staff now working from home because of the pandemic and with some 7.9 million workers furloughed, "fed-up employees are re-evaluating their job prospects".The analysis of Google Trends data showed that there had been a 194 per cent increase in the number of searches in the 'I want a new job' category in May compared to January. Searches for 'job change', 'how to move jobs' and 'move careers' also recorded increases well above 100 per cent.Jayne Harrison, head of employment law at Richard Nelson, commented: “We have seen a significant rise in the number of employees dissatisfied with their current role, echoed by the Google search data in May."The pandemic has meant that many individuals have had the sudden opportunity to work remotely and experience the flexibility of not commuting. This has caused their priorities to shift as they begin to see the value of greater flexibility and added time at home.“With many employees feeling dissatisfied about being furloughed, they have had the time to properly evaluate their job role and the firm they work for. This has caused a significant rise in employees assessing which opportunities are available to them outside of their current position, adding to their own skill set and using the time to apply to new roles.”

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