LONDON (Reuters) – Online job adverts in Britain returned to pre-pandemic levels last week, boosted by pubs and restaurants looking for staff as they prepared to partially reopen, job search website Adzuna said on Thursday.
Total online job ads hit 100% of their February 2020 average level on April 8, a rise of three percentage points from a week earlier, Adzuna said.
“We’re not back to normal yet but these are really promising signs,” Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter said. “There are still some hard yards to be fought and the big unknown is what will happen when the furlough scheme is wound down.”
Hospitality and catering job ads rose by 10 percentage points to 58% of their February 2020 levels as restaurants, cafes and pubs prepared to reopen for outdoor customers on April 12, Adzuna said.
Retail hiring also started to recover as non-essential shops geared up to open their doors on the same date.
Britain’s labour market has been cushioned against the impact of the country’s coronavirus lockdowns by the government’s furlough scheme which is due to be phased out by the end of September.
The country’s unemployment rate stands at 5%, far lower than feared by forecasters at the onset of the pandemic but it is expected to rise in the coming months.