Career Talk 21.05.20

Lockdown Job Searching

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the job market both here in the UK and around the world, with many companies being forced into closing down temporarily. Latest figures  show that around a quarter of the UK’s workforce has been placed on the…
Andrew Frobisher
Andrew Frobisher

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the job market both here in the UK and around the world, with many companies being forced into closing down temporarily.

Latest figures  show that around a quarter of the UK’s workforce has been placed on the government’s job retention scheme, although it’s estimated that  almost seven million jobs could be lost in the coming months.

But at the same time, there are some sectors that need staff more than ever and with many people now looking for work, or perhaps looking for a second job while they’re currently furloughed, there are still plenty of ways to find a job during lockdown.

Here are some of the jobs and companies that have seen the biggest increase in jobs since March 23rd, when the UK entered lockdown.

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Fruit Picking Jobs – 843% increase

By far the job which has seen the biggest increase in searches is fruit picking, with searches up over 800% compared to the weeks before the lockdown.

Those who have been furloughed were actively encouraged to take up fruit picking work on the UK’s farms, with many migrant workers who usually come over to the UK to carry out this work unable to do so and the peak harvesting season on the horizon.

Similarly, searches for ‘farm jobs’ have risen by 21%, with concerns that lots of agricultural produce may go to waste during the crisis.

NHS Volunteer Jobs – 355% increase

Another hugely popular choice amongst those who have been furloughed is to  volunteer to support the NHS, with over three-quarters of a million people answering the Government’s call to join the “volunteer army” and helping to deliver food and medicine, drive patients to appointments and phone those who are isolating.

The process is managed through an app called GoodSAM, which has seen its own searches increase by an incredible 2,470% since March 23rd.

Other places which have seen a spike in people looking to help out include Age UK (searches for volunteers up 56%) and food banks 28%.

Online Tutoring – 67% increase

The country’s schools have been shut since March 20th, with parents very quickly having to get up to speed with homeschooling their children, often while trying to juggle working from home as well.

This has seen a rise in the number of people seeking online tuition (as well as some adults taking the time in quarantine to try and pick up some new skills such as a language too).

Online tutoring is also one of many jobs which can easily be carried out from home, with searches increasing by 67% in recent weeks.

Postal Workers – 48% increase

The postmen and women of the nation are another key group who are helping to keep the country going, with searches for Royal Mail jobs increasing by 48% since lockdown.

Whether it’s in the sorting offices or out on the streets delivering parcels and letters, the postal service is in urgent need of new staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

Delivery Jobs – 40% increase

eCommerce platforms have seen their sales skyrocket since the outbreak, as have delivery services for supermarkets and takeaway services too, with searches for delivery jobs increasing by 40%.

In particular, delivery jobs for the big supermarkets have seen the biggest increases, with the number of people looking for delivery vacancies at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s all increasing by more than double.

Jobs for other couriers such as Hermes and DPD also increased, as well those for food delivery services such as Dominos and Deliveroo.

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Supermarket Jobs – 30% increase

The first few days and weeks of lockdown saw a surge in people stockpiling groceries, as well as elusive essentials such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Searches for jobs in the nation’s supermarkets actually peaked in the week  before  the lockdown began and have steadily been dropping in the weeks since, but on average, they’re still up by 30% compared to pre-lockdown.

The most popular supermarket for those looking for a job during the lockdown was Asda, followed by Tesco and Waitrose.

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All search increases were calculated using  Google Trends  data, which normalise search interest on a scale of 0-100, with 100 representing the peak searches over a period and the other figures relative to this.

We took an average for the search interest scores since lockdown (March 23rd to May 15th) and an average for the same period pre-lockdown (January 29th to March 22nd), before calculating the percentage increase.

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