18 Stats on the Current State of the Job Market

13 Apr 2021

Recruitment Industry News

There is no doubt that there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace, however we’re constantly being told that there are signs of hope.

To help you understand the current state of the job market, we’ve gathered a number of the latest recruitment statistics:

1) There are just under 1.3 million active job vacancies right now in the UK.

If we compare this to our stats from last summer, we can see that’s an extra 300,000 vacancies.

2) 68,000 more people were in payrolled employment from February 2021, compared to January 2021.

The ONS also highlighted that this is the third consecutive monthly increase in employees on a payroll, signalling more optimism in the marketplace.

However it’s worth bearing in mind that this is still 693,000 less than February 2020.

3) The UK unemployment rate currently stands at 5%.

This is not as high as initially predicted, with some estimates last year suggesting it could reach as high as 12%.

4) More than half of employers reported that they expected to hire in the first quarter of 2021.

Unsurprisingly, healthcare as an industry is thought to have driven this high statistic reported by the CIPD Labour Market Outlook.

5) E-commerce personnel is one of the fastest growing job sectors right now in the UK.

The report published by LinkedIn, showed that roles such as driver, supply chain associate and warehouse team lead were growing in popularity.

Hiring hotspots identified were Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton and Manchester.

6) Construction professionals are in high demand right now.

LinkedIn also reported that they were seeing an increase in demand for construction professionals such as construction site managers.

7) Under 25s have been hardest hit by the employment drop.

8) Interest in bar staff positions has grown by 98%.

As pubs and bars reopen many are seeking employment, according to Indeed.

Front of house and waitressing positions were also highly searched for on the site between the 26th February and 12th March.

9) There are 1.3 million less people working in leisure and hospitality than prior to the pandemic.

The unemployment rate for those working in the sector stands at 16.7%, up from 5% in December 2019.

10) The average amount people earn has increased by 4.2%

11) 2.7 million people are currently claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit because they are “searching for work”.

This is a huge increase when you compare it to the 1.4 million from the prior year, before the pandemic began to take effect.

12) East and West Dunbartonshire saw the highest increase in job adverts in March 2021.

This is compared to the Isle of Wight which saw the steepest fall in new job advertisements.

13) 16.3% of job adverts in March 2021 were for temporary roles.

When we take a look at the previous recordings we can see this has grown:

15.1% – Early July 2020

14% – Mid March 2020

14) Veterinary nurses, bricklayers and therapy professionals are in high demand!

15) 39% of companies said filtering a high volume of under-qualified candidates was their biggest hiring pain point in 2020.

16) 50% of employers have never discussed how they could improve the diversity of candidates they consider hiring.

Yet many are looking at how tools and technology can help combat bias in hiring.

17) 53% of employees feel they have to be available at all times since working from home.

30% said they felt they now worked more hours than previously, as the line between work and home life continues to blur.


18) 56% of employees reported an increase in their happiness levels since working from home.

Findings suggested that they appreciated the opportunity to ‘live in a different way’.


  1. https://www.rec.uk.com/our-view/research/recruitment-insights/jobs-recovery-tracker
  2. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/march2021
  3. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/march2021
  4. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/march2021
  5. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/21/linkedin-says-these-are-the-fastest-growing-job-sectors-in-the-uk.html
  6. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/21/linkedin-says-these-are-the-fastest-growing-job-sectors-in-the-uk.html
  7. https://www.apsco.org/article/under-25s-hit-hardest-by-employment-drop-but-employers-will-fe-4522.aspx
  8. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-9422615/Job-listings-rise-highest-level-year-says.html
  9. https://www.aarp.org/work/job-search/info-2020/job-losses-during-covid.html
  10. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52660591
  11. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52660591
  12. https://www.rec.uk.com/our-view/news/press-releases/jobs-recovery-tracker-increase-new-job-adverts-covid-restrictions-start-lift
  13. https://www.rec.uk.com/our-view/news/press-releases/jobs-recovery-tracker-increase-new-job-adverts-covid-restrictions-start-lift
  14. https://www.rec.uk.com/our-view/news/press-releases/jobs-recovery-tracker-increase-new-job-adverts-covid-restrictions-start-lift
  15. https://toggl.com/blog/recruitment-industry-trends-2021
  16. https://www.rec.uk.com/our-view/news/press-releases/jobsoutlook-employer-hiring-confidence-rises-even-lockdown
  17. https://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2021/02/15/research-reveals-how-we-really-feel-about-working-from-home/
  18. https://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2021/02/15/research-reveals-how-we-really-feel-about-working-from-home/

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