The number of European workers looking for roles in the UK has risen since pandemic restrictions were eased, but remains lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to jobs database Adzuna.
Its analysis of jobseeker traffic for August 2021 showed that the number of people looking for work from Europe was 48% lower than pre-pandemic, but there had been a steady recovery from a low point in April 2020, when searches were down by 79%.
In hospitality, Adzuna reported a “small step change” in jobseeking activity from European workers in April and May this year. Job searches during these months for all of Europe were 46% and 47% lower than pre-pandemic levels, while in July they were only 40% lower.
Job searches from Spain have seen the strongest recovery, where searches are down by 45.8% but are up from a 65.2% drop in January. Job searches from France are still down by 58.4% compared to 64.7% in January.
Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK job vacancies rose 10% above pre-pandemic levels between April and June, but skills shortages have hit many sectors, with employers having to raise salaries to attract staff.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “It’s been tough going for UK employers looking to hire staff in the first half of this year.
Pandemic talent shortage
“The combined effects of the pandemic, travel restrictions and the furlough scheme have led to a significant supply and demand imbalance in the job market. But there is hope for companies recruiting this month and into the autumn.”
Hunter added that data for the first week of September has shown a “swell in jobseeker activity” from both the UK and overseas.
He said: “As kids go back to school and border restrictions ease, we anticipate jobseekers flooding back into the market to fill the 1 million open roles currently being advertised across the country.”
However, he cautioned that once this initial rush settles, we could see a more balanced job market as the final months of 2021 draw to a close.