Monthly vacancy analysis: Vacancy trends to week-ending 9 August 2020

Papoutsaki D, Wilson T |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Aug 2020

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This briefing describes changes in online vacancies over the month to 9 August.  The work is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and uses vacancy data collected by Adzuna (, one of the largest online job search engines in the UK. The briefing sets out analysis of new vacancies, overall vacancy levels, and vacancies by region and devolved nation, job type and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

This month’s data show that there are tentative signs of recovery in the labour market as lockdown measures have been eased.  New vacancy notifications have risen more than 50 per cent during the month of July, with 169 thousand new vacancies notified last week.  The gap compared with trends for the same time last year has also narrowed, although new vacancies remain one third lower than in the equivalent week in 2019.

The overall level of vacancies at 9 August was 504 thousand, an increase of almost 40 per cent compared to last month, although vacancy levels remain nearly 400 thousand lower than at the same time last year.

Comparing vacancy data with the number of people on the claimant count (i.e. claiming benefits and treated as being unemployed), there are now 6.8 claimants for every vacancy.  This has fallen from a peak of 7.9 in May 2020, as vacancies have recovered and the claimant count has stabilised.  However it remains well above its pre-crisis levels (of around 1.5 claimants per vacancy) and the pattern of areas with the highest ratios remains consistent with previous months – namely ex-industrial areas (particularly in the north of England, central belt of Scotland and Welsh valleys) coastal towns, London and areas surrounding major cities.