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Number of job adverts increase in rural parts of UK despite Covid-19 slump

The Independent logo The Independent 6 days ago Kate Ng
a person riding a bicycle on a city street © Provided by The Independent

New research suggests some parts of the UK has seen an increase in employment despite the severe impact the coronavirus outbreak has had on the economy.

Rural communities in areas such as South Norfolk, Omagh and Moray have had a surge in job adverts, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Demand in professions such as roofers, security guards, artists and NHS staff have increased, with the number of job vacancies in Breckland and South Norfolk growing by 8.7 per cent week-on-week between the start and middle of May.


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The report also noted many areas of Scotland and the north east of England saw growth. Argyll and Bute noted a 4.5 per cent increase in postings, while both Durham and Northumberland saw a 2.4 per cent increase.

In contrast, the largest weekly falls in vacancies were reported to be in the south west and north west of England.

REC chief executive Neil Carberry said the research was “encouraging”. It comes as official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed unemployment in the UK increased by 50,000 to 1.35 million in the first quarter of 2020.


Job vacancies across the country fell by 170,000 to 637,000 in the three months to April. with the hospitality industry showing the steepest decline.

Mr Carberry said: “While there has been a huge slowdown, this job postings data shows the picture isn’t uniform in all parts of the country and for all types of occupations.

“Health and social care workers being in high demand isn’t a surprise, but as more workplaces start to re-open, 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. It’s encouraging to se the growth in many areas of north east England and hopefully other regions will start to follow in the coming weeks.

Industries facing the toughest comeback after coronavirus (Lovemoney)

“The economy will begin to bounce back from Covid-19 in the coming months, as businesses start to hire again.”

Mims Davies, minister for employment, added: “As we begin to reopen sectors of our economy, it’s welcome news that businesses are kick-starting recruitment efforts across the UK including in rural areas.

“While the full impact of Covid-19 is yet to play out, our new Job Help site is there to support anyone looking for work right now, with thousands of roles available.”


Stay at home as much as possible to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of  Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In  Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In  Northern Ireland, call your GP.


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