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April 2020 – Uncertain times for the UK jobs market

 

COVID-19 continues to ravage the globe and Government efforts to stop the spread of the virus is having an unprecedented impact on the UK jobs market. Uncertainty is set to continue for months, maybe years, as we learn the full effects of the pandemic.

 

AlertBI created The Jobs Monitor as a beacon of light for businesses. You can take advantage of our real-time data analysis and gain valuable insights into job market fluctuations, enabling you to make informed decisions based on accurate jobs data, gleaned from over 200,000 sources.

 

In April 2020, The Jobs Monitor recorded 56,704 job movements across the UK’s private sector. As expected, job losses accounted for over two thirds of the total at 68%, while job gains made up the final 32%.

 

Our data paints a dire picture of the job market since March as the effects of the crisis took hold. In March, job gains were substantially less than the pre-crisis numbers but still outnumbered job losses by two thirds. April saw the latter overtake the former for the first time in 2020

 

Property and Construction continued its steady but small growth despite the crisis as businesses, like Lichfields, secured new contracts and hired more staff. We anticipate an upwards trajectory of hires followings the Government’s permission for construction workers to get back to work.

 

Some parts of the services sector are bucking the trend and thriving. For example, thanks to the increased demand for educational services,  and school closures causing parents to seek out tools that maintain their children’s education,  Outschool – providers of live online classes for ages 8–18 – started to recruit 5,000 new staff to handle the sharp rise in demand.

 

Retail and Wholesaling accounted for almost 15% of the total job losses as businesses entered administration and closed stores. Firms that depend on brick and mortar revenues are the most vulnerable to the pandemic effects, as shown by Oasis Stores which cut 4,100 jobs and closed 92 stores permanently, with another 90 at risk unless it finds a buyer.

 

The Government plans to allow non-essential retail outlets with street-level entrances and exits to reopen on June 29th – phase three of the lockdown-easing measures – which we expect to jumpstart hiring.

 

One of the biggest victims of the coronavirus pandemic is the Transport and Storage sector as employment rates continue to slump. Passenger numbers have collapsed and forced redundancies, while many businesses, such as P&O Ferries, are close to insolvency and seeking rescue deals or buyers. British Airways have cut 12,000 jobs, affecting one in four employees, following the drastic downturn in air travel.

 

Leisure and Hospitality, the second largest casualty of the crisis, suffered much smaller losses compared to March, but enjoyed zero gains. We expect the industry to start bouncing back in July at the earliest when the Government is expected to lift lockdown measures to allow businesses like pubs, restaurants and hotels to reopen.

 

Regionally, the South East suffered 40% of the job losses in April as it hosted some of the biggest victims of the pandemic. London followed behind with 23.85%.

 

London also experienced the most job gains with almost one quarter of the final total, while the East of England enjoyed the second highest gains with 14%.


Region – Private sector  only

Job gains

Gain %

Job losses

Loss %
London 9380 51.8% 8460 27%
East of England 2712 15% 200 0.6%
West Midlands 1051 5.8% 634 2.0%
Yorkshire and the Humber 895 4.9% 79 0.3%
North West 731 4.0% 885 2.8%
South East 530 2.9% 260 0.8%
East Midlands 349 1.9% 34 0.1%
North East 215 1.2% 431 1.4%
South West 13 0.1% 18125 57.8%
England Total 15876 87.6% 29108 92.8%
Scotland 1890 10.4% 90 0.3%
Northern ireland 330 1.8% 1262 4.0%
Wales 22 0.1% 899 2.9%
United Kingdom Total 18118 100% 31359 100%

Sector Group – Private sector only

Job gains

Gain %

Job losses

Loss %
Business services 6897 38.1% 905 2.9%
Food & Beverages 4262 23.5% 842 2.7%
Engineering & Manufacturing 1957 10.8% 396 1.3%
Vehicles & Components 1685 9.3% 0 10.0%
Property & Construction 1277 7.0% 368 1.2%
Health & veterinary services 855 4.7% 32 0.1%
Retailing & Wholesaling 717 4.0% 8532 27.2%
IT & telecommunications 172 0.9% 234 0.7%
Transport & Storage 84 0.5% 13591 43.3%
Energy, utilities, waste 56 0.3% 3866 12.3%
Engineering & Manufacturing 56 0.3% 210 0.7%
Banks & financial services 47 0.3% 1253 4.0%
Leisure & hospitality 30 0.2% 200 0.6%
Chemicals, pharmac & biotech 20 0.1% 8 0.0%
Consumer goods & services 3 0.0% 148 0.5%
Media & publishing 0 0.0% 774 2.5%
Aerospace & defence 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Total 18118 100% 31359 100%

Date

Organisation

Turnover £m

Employees

Sector Group

What’s Happening
01/04/2020 Kier Group 4100 18778 Property & Construction Berkshire Office Closed – 40 Jobs Lost – Part of Ongoing Cost-Cutting Plan – £65 million Savings Sought
01/04/2020 Karro 0.8 1100 Food & Beverages At Least 400 Jobs Created Across the UK – Roles for Staff Affected by Outbreak
02/04/2020 The Perfume Shop 215 2197 Retailing & wholesaling Stores Closed & Online Operation Ceased – 1,875 Jobs Affected – Response to Pandemic
02/04/2020 Aker Solutions 223.67 1827 Engineering & manufacturing 250 UK Jobs Cut Temporarily- Norwegian Operation Also Affected – Turnover to Drop by 20% – Scaled back investment plans – Oil Price Slide
02/04/2020 Bristol University 608 6199 Education Made 84 Redundancies – Started Online Teaching
06/04/2020 E-On 6100 7709 Energy, utilities, waste 4,000 Staff Furloughed – Plan to Top Up Salaries
06/04/2020 G’s Growers Ltd 64.1 291 Food & Beverages Recruitment Drive Underway – 2,500 Seasonal Vacancies
06/04/2020 Lyons Holiday Parks 30.08 600 Leisure & hospitality 10 Sites Closed – 500 Jobs Lost
06/04/2020 M & S Food 10380 80097 Retailing & wholesaling New Southampton Store – 44 New Jobs – Part of Wider Growth Plans
07/04/2020 Petrofac 4520 11500 Energy, utilities, waste Cutting Workforce by a Fifth – Follows Pandemic & Drop in Oil Prices – 2,300 Jobs at Risk
07/04/2020 Futura Foods 60.94 26 Food & Beverages 22 North Wales Jobs Created – Continued Scaling Up of Operations – Business Growth
08/04/2020 Page Group 1500 7532 Business services 250 Jobs Cut – Directors Pay Cut by 20% – Part of Response to Outbreak
08/04/2020 Weetabix 303 1002 Food & Beverages Created 90 Jobs – Increased Food Demand due to Pandemic
08/04/2020 Walkers Crisps 167.1 461 Food & Beverages Created 80 Jobs at Coventry Factory – Recruitment Drive
09/04/2020 JDP Furniture 37.64 540 Retailing & wholesaling In Administration – Follows Drop in Revenue – 540 Jobs at Risk
14/04/2020 The Oasis and Warehouse Group 293 2300 Retailing & wholesaling Expected to Enter Administration – 2,300 Jobs & 90 Stores at Risk – Buyer Sought
14/04/2020 Interserve 2900 41423 Business Services 1,500 Jobs Created – Roles Across the UK – Increased Demand Following Outbreak
14/04/2020 Borr Drilling 1.13 250 Energy, Utilities, Waste Planning to Cut Jobs – 230 Roles at Risk – Cost Synergies Sought
15/04/2020 Action on Hearing Loss 39.55 985 Charities 70 Staff Furloughed – Follows Covid19 Outbreak
15/04/2020 Skanska Costain Strabag 25000 130000 Engineering & Manufacturing £3.3 billion HS2 Contract Secured – 1500 Jobs Expected
17/04/2020 Christian Aid 120.4 976 Charities Cutting 160 Jobs – Fall in Income Following Outbreak – Retrenchment Programme will Reduce Overseas Operations
17/04/2020 Mash Direct 18.42 203 Food & Beverages 30 Jobs Created – New Employment Platform Launched – Part of Pandemic Response
20/04/2020 Quest Global 36 12800 IT & Telecommunications Making 192 Redundancies – Contracts Cancelled
20/04/2020 EC-OG Energy, Utilities, Waste £1.6 million Investment Secured – Creating 40 Jobs – Increasing Manufacturing Capacity
20/04/2020 Le Pain Quotidien 38 806 Leisure & Hospitality Business on Verge of Collapse – 500 Jobs at Risk at 26 Sites – Pre-Pack Administration Deal Expected
21/04/2020 Kirkpatrick 65 Engineering & Manufacturing In Administration – 50 Jobs Lost
21/04/2020 Formica Group 79.5 79.5 Engineering & Manufacturing 250 Staff Return to Work – Restarting Manufacturing Following Lockdown Adaptations
22/04/2020 Pennine Foods 430 Food & Beverages Food manufacturing – 430 redundancies – 35 staff moved to other sites – decline in ready meals demand
22/04/2020 Asseal 180 1800 Engineering & Manufacturing Industrial Seals manufacturer – £20m investment to double headquarters size – Creating 200 jobs
23/04/2020 Safran Seats 274.97 1250 Aerospace & defence Making 400 Redundancies – Cutting 25% of Workforce
23/04/2020 H. Young (Operations) Ltd t/a Animal 162.4 623 Retailing & Wholesaling Plan to Close 21 UK Stores – 500 Jobs at Risk – Trading Worsened by Coronavirus Outbreak
27/04/2020 Renfrewshire Council 7900 Local Government 200 Job Cuts Postponed Until 2021 – Follows Covid19 Outbreak – £45 million Savings Sought by 2023
27/04/2020 P and C Residential Services Ltd 88 Health & veterinary services Plan to Expand Cumbrian Premises – 50 Jobs Expected – Business Growth
28/04/2020 Antalis 493.87 1091 Transport & Storage New Headquarters Planned – Creating 50 Jobs – Increasing Capacity
28/04/2020 CPUK 23 91 Property & Construction In Administration – 90 Jobs at Risk – Follows Collapse of Key Client
29/04/2020 British Airways 1300 42384 Transport & Storage Cutting 12,000 Jobs – 1 in 4 Staff Affected – Follows Downturn in Air Travel
29/04/2020 Church Farm Nursing Home Limited 5 197 Health & veterinary services Creating 10 Jobs – Increasing Service Standards
30/04/2020 Guidant Global 583.5 750 Business Services Making 500 Redundancies – Lost Contract with Airbus – Downturn in Demand
30/04/2020 Home Instead Senior Care 13000 Health & veterinary services 300 New North East Jobs Created – Increased Demand
30/04/2020 Deliveroo 476.2 2296 Transport & storage Making 367 Redundancies – Reducing Workforce by 15% – Reducing Costs

A selection of organisations that experienced
job movements during
April 2020

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