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Search for right role will drive activity in 2021: Reed research

A survey of 1,521 jobseekers by reveals that 59% of workers haven’t been deterred from seeking new roles, despite the pandemic, and 70% would be willing to change sectors or take a pay cut to find the right role.

Contrary to the economic gloom, 82% are feeling hopeful they will find a new job in 2021, including 52% who are feeling “very hopeful”. Many are willing to adapt to the changing jobs market, with over two thirds of workers saying they would take a pay cut or consider working in a different sector to secure a job and over half (53%) are willing to move to a different part of the country to find the right role. Additionally, the research found that 29% are actively looking for jobs in new sectors.

Women (75%) are more open to changing sector to secure a job compared to men (71%), as are older generations, with 45-54 year olds most likely to agree (76%). However, men (61%) are more likely than women (38%) to consider moving to a different part of the country to secure the right role, with younger generations agreeing - rising highest among 25-34 year olds (63%).

The research also shows that men are more optimistic about their job prospects in the new year, with 84% feeling hopeful compared to 82% of women. 35-44 year olds were most likely to share in this positive future outlook with 86% agreeing, falling among the oldest and youngest generations who were least hopeful – over 55s (78%) and 16-24 year olds (80%).

This optimism is the result of a recovering labour market, with over 169,000 new jobs added onto in November - the highest figure since before the pandemic in February. Job postings also increased by 15% between September and October, and in every region except Scotland, indicating a long-term nationwide recovery for the UK’s labour market.

Commenting on the findings, James Reed, Chairman of REED, said: “Despite news of a second strain, I predict a year of movement in 2021. Lots of jobseekers are now looking for better opportunities and employers have a diverse and talented pool of people to choose from. We are seeing great dynamism, resilience and a willingness to adapt in the labour market and this makes me feel optimistic as we approach 2021.

Our recent job vacancy figures suggest there is reason to be cheerful. Despite the second national lockdown, vacancies in November continued to increase by 4% over October and we now have nearly 200,000 new jobs listed. To secure the best of these jobs, people must continue to be versatile and enhance their prospects by upskilling and/or reskilling. It’s encouraging to see so many people are willing to try new opportunities in other sectors and other regions.”

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