The jobs market is widely accepted as being one of the most obvious economic indicators. Unsurprisingly, the many hundreds of people that we have spoken to since COVID19 and lockdown began all ask what the market is like.
Whilst we can offer a longer and more articulate answer, during the initial weeks of lockdown it would be fair to say that ‘rubbish’ would have covered it quite succinctly. There are now, however, glimmers of hope emerging. By any normal measure it would hardly be described as buoyant but there are initial signs it has most definitely improved.
As we start to emerge from full-scale lockdown measures, here are some insights which we have seen over recent weeks:
1) Some companies began to get themselves in gear to re-open or extend opening even before the very slight reduction in lockdown restrictions were announced. Presumably they were confident that lockdown was going to be eased but either way, there was a palpable eagerness to get started.
2) Some roles that were on hold or suspended were released. With the majority of qualified accountants on three months’ notice, anyone hired within September or October would most likely not
actually join their new employer until the end of 2020 or early 2021. This time delay appears to have given some companies the confidence to go ahead with their plans.
3) The flow of brand new vacancies has increased which we can assume is for the same reason as point 2) above.
4) Unusually there is optimism and ‘talking the recovery up’. Typically, recovery from recessions are characterised by an ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ attitude. Not now though.
5) Putting aside some sectors which very obviously will suffer more and for longer than most, there is a belief that there will be some considerable mid to longer term market opportunities if you get ready to exploit them.
6) The term ‘New normal’ is now often quoted and while ‘new normal’ does not mean we will be better in every way than the ‘old normal’, it seems to indicate a fresh start. ‘New normal’
keeps getting mentioned, not in a fearful way, rather in a new opportunity kind of way. Whilst this can seem a little strange as forced change is usually very off-putting, for so many, any expected improvement – even if it is in a different form to the past – is something that we can start to get very excited by.
All in all, a noticeable improvement and, on the basis that the jobs market is an economic indicator, surely is good news for all of us.
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