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Studying the UK Job Market During the COVID-19 Crisis with Online Job Ads

10/07/2020
by   Rudy Arthur, et al.
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The COVID-19 global pandemic and the lockdown policies enacted to mitigate it have had profound effects on the labour market. Understanding these effects requires us to obtain and analyse data in as close to real time as possible, especially as rules change rapidly and local lockdowns are enacted. In this work we study the UK labour market by analysing data from the online job board Reed.co.uk. Using topic modelling and geo-inference methods we are able to break down the data by sector and geography. We also study how the salary, contract type and mode of work have changed since the COVID-19 crisis hit the UK in March. Overall, vacancies were down by 60 to 70 lockdown. By mid September numbers had recovered slightly, though were still down by 40 to 50 graduate jobs are greatly reduced, while there were more care work and nursing vacancies during lockdown. Differences by geography are less significant than between sectors, though there is some indication that local lockdowns stall recovery and less badly hit areas may have experienced a smaller reduction in vacancies. There are also small but significant changes in the median salary and number of full time and permanent jobs. In addition to these results, this work presents an open methodology that enables a rapid and detailed survey of the job market in these unsettled conditions.

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