North South divide increases by half for job seekers
Since the beginning of the lockdown over 1.4 million people have uploaded their CVs to Indeed, but job opportunities are down 60 per cent since the pre-lockdown period, according to a new study by Centre for Cities and Indeed.
Competition for roles is higher in the cities and large towns of the North and Midlands where, on average, there are 50 per cent more people applying for every job posted than in their counterparts in the Greater South East of England.
This has increased faster in places where it was already hardest to find new positions, with job seekers in Middlesbrough now facing nine times the competition than those in Cambridge. This means that, compared to this time last year, the number of candidates per job posting has increased by less than 0.3 in Cambridge, Oxford and Reading, but by approximately one extra CV per job posting in Luton, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.
The economic downturn has also made people less selective about the types of jobs they will do. Nationally, the proportion of jobseekers using Indeed to search for any job available has increased by five percentage points compared to this time last year. In places with fewer jobs available, 34 per cent of job searches are for any available job in the area, compared to only 29 per cent among the cities and large towns with the lowest competition per job.
At the extremes, in Dundee more than half of job seekers (54 per cent) will consider applying for any available job, while in London just 18 per cent will – reflecting the larger numbers of jobs available.
“While every part of the country has been affected by Covid-19, some towns and cities are feeling the economic effects harder than others,” said Centre for Cities’ Chief Executive Andrew Carter. “The package that the Chancellor announced last week may well help save some jobs and businesses, but we don’t just want to return to a pre-lockdown state – we want to improve people’s opportunities and prosperity. The Government should use the autumn Spending Review to set out a long-term plan to upskill the workforce and create the high-skilled jobs that we need to come out of this crisis stronger than we entered it.”
“Covid-19 is not a great equaliser,” added Indeed’s Head of EMEA Research Pawel Adrjan. “The lopsided jobs market disproportionately affects people in cities and towns in the north of England, where competition for available jobs is toughest. Rising unemployment means more people are searching for fewer jobs and while no one is immune to this labour market crisis, growing regional disparities are exacerbating the north-south divide in access to job opportunities.”
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