Global picture

The number of COVID cases worldwide as of today is 10.7m. Some Asian countries, most notably China, have kept infection growth rates low and are restarting their economies. Other countries have lifted and then had to reinstate lock-downs locally, including Japan, Germany and the USA. In the UK, a pocket of increasing infections in Leicester has result in a local lock-down.

What is the impact on recruitment specifically?

The UK hiring rate is recovering, but more slowly than France for example, which experienced a deeper drop in April and faster recovery in June. Possibly related to the more rapid lock-down implemented there. The UK hiring rate based on LinkedIn measurement is down about 31% yr/yr.

LinkedIn hiring rate by country

Yr/Yr percentage change:

Source: LinkedIn 29th June 2020 (BBC)

UK hiring levels by sector

The LinkedIn category of Legal, software & IT has proved the most resilient, with Entertainment, Recreation and Travel suffering the most.

Sector Change Yr/Yr
Legal, software & IT -16%
Retail -34%
Media & Communications -38%
Construction -38%
Manufacturing -41%
Entertainment -51%
Recreation & Travel -66%

Source: LinkedIn 29th June 2020

What does the future hold for different UK sectors?

Consumers have developed a strong preference for online services and purchasing. Until a vaccine is available, this trend could persist, which may have lasting implications for high street shops, shopping centre retailers and their landlords.

The exception is food retailing, where both in store and online has benefited from a focus on home based activities and this may continue in the short and medium term. Which in turn could mean a longer recovery period for the hospitality industry.

The travel industry has been hit very hard, but with restrictions being lifted for some European destinations, airlines with European routes, and their suppliers, will see some recovery. However, the significant redundancies already put in place by many European airlines demonstrate that the sector has discounted any return to previous levels.

Workplaces have become remote-based and having seen this work in reality, many businesses are calculating the savings they would enjoy if adopted for some workers on a permanent basis.  This trend is being led by tech companies, with Facebook and Twitter having announced their intention to allow the majority of their workforce to work remotely if desired. For B2B industries like recruitment, this will have implications for how business development and customer relations are carried out.