Online sales job advertisements up 46% in early August

Forklift is putting cargo from warehouse to truck outdoors

A surge in demand for people to work in sectors closely associated with internet shopping is behind a rise in online job adverts, according to official figures.

Notices for roles in transport, logistics and warehousing pushed the total number of online job adverts last week to 62% of its 2019 average from 53% in the previous seven days, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said employers from across all areas of the economy and all regions increased their demand for staff in the week ending 7 August, but sectors associated with internet retail had the biggest rise in demand.

A 46% rise in adverts for transport, logistics and warehousing jobs in just one week meant these sectors recorded an increase to 117% of last year’s average.

Illustrating how the pandemic continues to hurt some industries, the ONS said the creative, design, arts and media industries experienced a further fall in demand for new staff, with a further 2.2 percentage points decrease in online job ads to 41% of its 2019 average last week. The volume of job adverts in education remained unchanged at 77% of its 2019 average.

The latest analysis by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation found that the first full week of August had the highest number of new job postings since lockdown began, with almost 126,000 adverts.

It said there were 1.1m active job postings in the week starting 3 August, up from 1.04m the previous week. However, this figure remains well below the 1.35m job postings that were open to applications before lockdown in the first week of March.

The survey found the heatwave increased demand for gardeners with job adverts increasing by 24.8%. There were also increases in postings for construction workers, up 15.8%, and a jump in demand for painters and decorators (up 14.1%), bricklayers (13.3%) and LGV drivers (14.0%). Responding to the increase in redundancies across the economy, the demand for debt collectors increased by 20%.

Neil Carberry, the REC’s chief executive REC, said: “Many firms will face cash struggles in September and October, so redundancies will be with us for months to come and unemployment will rise.

“But a recovery is under way. Construction sites have reopened, logistics companies are dealing with high demand and, with people spending more time at home, many have been looking to spruce up their house and gardens.”