Report suggests 'signs of hope' on jobs front - even for hospitality

There was a seven-fold rise in advertised posts in hospitality in quarter three according to the Bank jobs report, though it is likely to reflect a rebound from abnormally low levels of listings during lockdown
Gary McDonald Business Editor

IT'S not all doom and gloom in the north's jobs market, with some sectors displaying resilience despite the tightening restrictions and the fresh lockdown.

And although hospitality was forced into another four-week closure from last Friday, the sector had actually began to recruit again, including enjoying a seven-fold increase in advertised jobs, though this could merely reflect a rebound from abnormally low levels of listings during lockdown.

The latest quarterly jobs report in association with Ulster Bank also revealed that September was a record monthly high for job applications on the site - up 26 per cent on last year.

Within this, applications from students and graduates soared by a record-breaking 243 per cent, underlining just how keen young people are to start their careers.

The survey showed that the overall employment market in Northern Ireland experienced a 68 per cent increase in advertised vacancies from July to September, with 30 out of 32 employment categories posting a rise.

Construction was up 160 per cent over the quarter while education and childcare rose by 133 per cent.

The report, now in its third year, provides an insight into recruitment trends, economic environment and the types of roles job-seekers are searching for online in Northern Ireland, with the data only counting corporate jobs (ie vacancies posted by an employer themselves) and excluding any jobs posted by recruitment agencies.

Sam McIlveen, general manager at, said: “The last quarter reflects the resilience of the job market here, which is encouraging, as many sectors began to recruit again after slowing down or pausing their hiring during the lockdown in April, May and June.

“Hospitality is a prime example as it was one of the most severely affected sectors in the first lockdown, but followed with a near seven fold increase (542 per cent) as the sector reopened.

“But the introduction of tighter restrictions last week will be a key focus, and businesses are facing into a period of uncertainty as the long-term impact of both Covid and Brexit are yet to be fully realised.”

Ulster Bank's chief economist Richard Ramsey said: “While a corner has been turned on the recruitment front, the trends of rising and falling employment are set to continue into 2021.

“Job listings more than halved in quarter relative to the first three months of the year. That represented a year-on-year decline of 63 per cent. But those record rates of decline have been followed-up with record rates of expansion in the third quarter.”

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