Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Competition for jobs ramps up ahead of furlough scheme ending, with job applications up by 10.5%

But opportunities remain sparse compared to a year ago

According to the latest job market data from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board, job applications were up by 10.5% across the UK last month, with the application to job ratio soaring by a massive 52.4% year-on-year.

The job board analysed its data from September 2020, comparing the findings with September 2019 and August 2020 to build an understanding of how the job market is fairing right now. It reveals that job applications have also spiked across key cities, as Brits prepare for the furlough scheme to end.

In fact, the highest increases in application rates were seen in Brighton (up 46.8% year-on-year), Inverness (up 37.7% year-on-year), Bristol (up 33.1% year-on-year), Leicester (up 28.9% year-on-year), Edinburgh (up 23.9% year-on-year), Exeter (up 23% year-on-year), Manchester (up 19.8% year-on-year), London (up 9.9% year-on-year), Southampton (up 9.2% year-on-year) and Glasgow (up 8% year-on-year).

In addition to this, when looking at the data by industry, the following sectors saw the biggest spikes in applications year-on-year: telecoms (up 108.2%), public sector (up 98.1%), medical (up 60.3%), education (up 47.1%), electronics (up 37.2%), property (up 32.8%), IT (up 30.7%), finance (up 22.8%)engineering (up 22.2%) and construction (up 21.5%).

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments: “While we saw a dip in applications back in August, they picked up significantly in September, which tends to happen as people adopt the ‘back to school’ mindset. That said, we do know that the furlough scheme is due to end in a matter of weeks now and while the government is offering further support through its Job Support Scheme, professionals are clearly nervous about their prospects and competition for jobs is ramping up. As we can see from our findings, this is happening across all corners of the UK and in a range of industries.”

When looking at the amount of job opportunities on offer, the data shows that vacancies were down by 27.5% year-on-year. The biggest drops in advertised jobs were seen in the design (down 70.2%), administration (down 65.2%), catering (down 63.8%)leisure/tourism (down 58.6%) and retail (down 58.4%) industries.

However, the findings show that while job numbers are much lower than a year ago, they are picking up every month. In fact, vacancies rose by 30.9% in September compared to August, with the highest increases appearing in Cardiff (up 41.9%), Leeds (up 41.5%), Portsmouth (up 36.5%), London (up 36.2%) and Leicester (up 36%).

In addition to this, CV-Library's salary data shows that average pay has dropped by 12.6% year-on-year and by 0.8% month-on-month. 


Biggins continues: Every week we’re seeing more jobs being advertised n our site and, while vacancies are nowhere near levels that they were at a year ago, this is a promising indicator that the job market is headed in the right direction. That said, we know that many businesses and job seekers are still struggling and are worried about what a second wave will mean for their prospects. All we can do for now is sit tight and weather the storm through the autumn and winter months.”