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Update on Vacancies and Job Opportunities in Light of Covid-19 – May 2020

By skye.aitken, on 12 May 2020

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Susanne Stoddart, Recruitment and Selection Advice Manager at UCL Careers.


In our April Employer Insights blog post we highlighted the current uncertainty across the graduate labour market due to Covid-19. However, we also showed that some organisations are adapting through remote working and have confirmed their intentions to continue recruiting. Opportunities are still being advertised and we encourage you to keep monitoring vacancy sites such as the myUCLCareers jobs board. Over the 7-day period from April 27th to May 3rd, a total of 162 vacancies (including summer internships and graduate roles) were posted on this jobs board alone.

Variance in Vacancy Numbers

As highlighted in a series of blog posts by graduate labour market expert Charlie Bull, vacancies are down but significant variance in the situation is emerging depending on a range of factors. These factors include organisation size (smaller organisations are more likely to be in survival mode with recruitment set at low priority) and opportunity type (internship and placement opportunities are expected to be more impacted than graduate roles). In terms of location, analysis of vacancy posting numbers on website Indeed indicates that the UK jobs market has been badly affected (with only New Zealand and Australia seeing steeper vacancy falls). However, within the UK, there has been an unequal impact and London has consistently registered the smallest decline.

Sector Specific Changes

Vitally, different sectors are also experiencing the impact of Covid-19 on their business activities differently, and this is reflected in their current vacancy posting numbers. Indeed’s weekly analysis of UK vacancy posting numbers, through to April 24th, (linked above), shows a 53% drop compared to this time last year. Unsurprisingly, sectors such as hospitality and tourism, customer service and beauty and wellbeing, where business activity has significantly reduced, if not ceased, show the largest decline in job postings. These findings suggest that the lower-skilled, non-graduate jobs market has been hit the hardest by Covid-19.

At the other end of the scale, healthcare jobs have seen the smallest decline. When LinkedIn analysed their UK vacancies stats up to mid-April they actually found that healthcare vacancies had increased compared to the same period last year. They also found that vacancies within software and IT services were down from last year far less than the average decline (19% compared to an average decline of 39%). This is perhaps as a result of these sectors’ ability to more readily transition their workforces to remote working.

What Next?

Although Covid-19 has had an impact on the graduate labour market, the data suggests that sectors with a greater focus on non-graduate level employment are most significantly affected.

  1. Opportunities are still being advertised and remember that you can book a one-to-one appointment with us to gain feedback on your application draft or to explore your next steps.
  2. You may also find it helpful to have a look at our frequently asked careers questions in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak, or check out our CareersLab Covid-19 Q&A video.
  3. For further ideas on taking positive steps at this time, why not take a look at our recent blog posts providing tips and advice on how you can upskill from home and how you can continue to move forward with your career planning.

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