Business

Growth in job adverts in Belfast as confidence rises amid restrictions easing

There were 10,788 unique active job postings in Belfast over the week from May 3-9, according to the REC
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BUSINESSES are becoming increasingly confident about hiring new staff as Covid restrictions ease, with 181,000 new job adverts posted online across the UK in the first week in May.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker shows that there are currently 1.53 million active job adverts across the UK, with continued growth for roles in hospitality and other service industries.

And Belfast is one of the UK's three hiring hotspots, with 10,788 unique active job postings over the week from May 3-9.

REC says that since early March there has been a much stronger growth in new job postings, with a weekly average of around 164,000 – up from an average of 132,000 new job adverts every week in January and February.

The most popular jobs advertised in the first week of May included teaching and other education professionals, cleaners and playworkers.

But there was stronger growth in active postings for bar staff (+17.5 per cent) and waiting staff (+9.9 per cent), as well as kitchen assistants (+9.3 per cent) and chefs (+7.2 per cent).

And with the potential for leisure, travel and entertainment to resume, there was an increase in demand for hotel and accommodation managers (+10.3 per cent), conference/exhibition managers (+ 8.1 per cent), and customer service managers (+7.7 per cent).

“This sustained growth during the past two months shows how businesses are now much more willing to bring in new staff as lockdown eases and the economy continues its recovery,” REC chief executive Neil Carberry said.

“The jobs data continues to give us good news for the recovery. Since the different UK regions announced plans for easing lockdowns, we’ve seen a robust and rising rate of new job ads being posted.

“And as restrictions ease, those numbers have continued to rise as business leaders feel more confident now than at any point during the past year.

“In the current market, the challenge is more likely to be about helping people access newly created jobs, rather than job creation itself.

“The announcements on skills in the Queen’s Speech will help with this – but only if employer feedback is taken on board. The consistent business feedback that the Apprenticeship Levy isn’t working needs to be addressed, with reforms that mean all workers can access training through a more flexible system.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Business