Coronavirus: Job adverts increase in rural areas despite Covid-19
Some rural parts of the UK have seen a surge in job adverts posted, despite the coronavirus pandemic, one study suggests.
Job postings in Breckland and South Norfolk jumped 8.7% between early and mid-May.
Parts of Scotland and north-eastern England also saw an increase, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).
Its chief executive described the new data as “encouraging”.
“Hopefully other regions will start to follow in the coming weeks,” said REC boss Neil Carberry.
The largest weekly falls in vacancies were reported to be in the South West and North West.
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But the new report also identified several sectors where demand for workers was rising.
Between the start and the middle of May, companies were looking for more pharmacists and nurses as the coronavirus pandemic continued.
There was also an increase in vacancies for roofers (+5.4%), security guards (+3.8%) and artists (+4.1%).
Mr Carberry added: “Health and social care workers being in high demand isn’t a surprise, but as more workplaces start to reopen, we are likely to see similar trends emerging for other roles.
“The increase in job adverts for cleaners and security guards could be the first sign of this… the economy will begin to bounce back from Covid-19 in the coming months, as businesses start to hire again.”
The REC also found that there were about 950,000 job adverts in the UK between 11 and 17 May.
Stress on jobs market
The new study comes after official statistics showed on Tuesday that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit soared to 2.1 million in April.
The jump of 856,500 claims in April reflected the impact of the first full month of lockdown, the Office for National Statistics said.
The government has made some changes to who can claim work-related benefits during the pandemic, but this figure is one of a series that show the stress Covid-19 has been putting on the jobs market.
When quizzed on unemployment by the Lords Economic Affairs Committee, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he did not have a precise estimate for what the numbers would be at the end of the year.
However, he said: “Obviously, the impact [of the coronavirus pandemic] will be severe.”
Before the lockdown began, employment had hit a record high.