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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Jobs Recovery Tracker: Scotland and Wales lead a slow recovery of the jobs market

Press releases

  • Total job postings in the UK rises to almost 963,000 in first week of June
  • Five of the top ten hiring hotspots are in Scotland and Wales – Bridgend, Wrexham, the Welsh Valleys, Dumfries & Galloway and Lothian 
  • Increased demand for customer service reps, parking attendants and speech therapists

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker has revealed that the number of active job postings in the UK has risen slowly over the past four weeks. There were almost 963,000 job postings between 1-7 June, up from 950,000 in the week starting 11 May.

The number of new job adverts in the first week of June was 112,000, a significant 64% more than for the last week of May. This could indicate more companies starting to hire again since the lockdown measures have been eased, and that the recovery is starting to pick up speed.

Scotland and Wales are currently leading the recovery – active job postings there have risen by 3.6% and 2.3% respectively between the weeks of 25-31 May and 1-7 June. Individual hiring hotspots for the first week of June include Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot (+14.7%), Dumfries & Galloway (+13.1%), and East Lothian & Midlothian (+10.4%).

These areas also saw significant rises in new job postings, with numbers increasing by 18.7% in Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot, 15.1% in Dumfries & Galloway and 13.3% in East Lothian & Midlothian.

On the other end of the spectrum, active job postings have decreased the most in Ards & North Down (-9.9%), Breckland & South Norfolk (-8.2%) and West Kent (-7.0%).

In terms of individual occupations, the largest increase in active job adverts was for customer service reps, rising by 18.6% between the end of May and the start of June (25-31 May and 1-7 June). There were also significant increases in postings for parking attendants (+17.9%), speech therapists (+8.8%) and writers (+6.5%).

However, the hospitality industry continues to suffer due to public health measures. Active job postings for chefs (-4.5%), waiters and waitresses (-5.6%), catering assistants (-8.0%) and bar staff (-15.7%) all decreased significantly from the previous week.

It is also interesting that job adverts for primary school teachers fell by 6.0% between late May and early June, given the government’s announcement that English primary schools will not be required to open fully before the summer holidays.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“We have been hearing from recruiters and business leaders all over the UK that the jobs market has been slowly improving over the past few weeks, and it’s good to see that backed up by this data. Scotland and Wales leading the way may reflect a more cautious approach from the devolved governments to closing construction and industrial sites at the height of the pandemic – with growth this week driven by sites reopening.

“As lockdown measures continue to be eased and the economy gradually opens up, matching jobseekers with opportunities quickly will be more important than ever – especially given the anticipated spike in unemployment. Recruiters across the UK are ready to help, working with all UK governments to support action to tackle the scourge of unemployment.”

Matthew Mee, Director, Workforce Intelligence at Emsi said:

“It’s encouraging to see there are certain regions across the UK that are now beginning to increase their recruitment marketing activity. Whilst this certainly isn’t a uniform or consistent trend as yet – we can see the recruitment sector itself is beginning to re-activate these efforts. 

“There are also a number of other sectors where there are signs that recovery is igniting, with companies in transportation, construction, pharmaceuticals, engineering, technology and indeed some niche retailers who now appear to be actively recruiting.”


Notes to editors:  

The Jobs Recovery Tracker is produced by the REC in partnership with Emsi, using their Job Postings Analytics data which is harvested from tens of thousands of job boards. Data was harvested between 25 May and 7 June 2020, with comparisons drawn week-on-week. For more details, see the attached annexes which, in league table format, detail the top and bottom ten county/unitary authorities for growth in job postings and growth by occupation type.

The Jobs Recovery Tracker will be published every two to three weeks to compliment the REC’s bank of surveys including the Report on Jobs and JobsOutlook, which provide a picture of recruitment activity and employers’ confidence and hiring intentions.

For more information and interview enquiries, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157, 020 7009 2192 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.

The REC is the voice of the recruitment industry, speaking up for great recruiters. We drive standards and empower recruitment businesses to build better futures for great candidates and themselves. We are champions of an industry which is fundamental to the strength of the UK economy.
Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at

Emsi’s goal is to help local, regional and national economies function more effectively through helping people make better decisions relating to the world of work. To achieve this, we employ a team of expert economists, data scientists and software programmers to build a dataset that is highly granular, extremely robust, and easy to use. Emsi was founded in Idaho in 2000 and now serves clients in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Find out more at



Top ten and bottom ten county/unitary authorities for growth in job postings:

County/unitary authority

Unique active job postings, 1-7 June

Change in active job postings, 25-31 May to 1-7 June
Mid Lancashire 17,218 +17.5%
Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot 1,092 +14.7%
Dumfries & Galloway 2,124 +13.9%
Isle of Wight 654 +13.1%
Sandwell 2,277 +10.7%
Eat Lothian & Midlothian 1,520 +10.4%
Flintshire & Wrexham 2,156 +6.2%
Central Bedfordshire 2,071 +5.9%
Central Welsh Valleys 1,749 +5.7%
Redbridge & Waltham Forest 3,767 +5.1%
Wakefield 3,008 -5.2%
Argyll & Bute 1,608 -5.2%
South & West Derbyshire 3,192 -5.8%
Suffolk 7,968 -5.8%
Brighton & Hove 4,754 -6.1%
North Yorkshire 6,981 -6.5%
Torbay 774 -6.7%
West Kent 4,384 -7.0%
Breckland & South Norfolk 2,027 -8.2%
Ards & North Down 465 -9.9%


Top ten and bottom ten occupations by growth in job postings:

Occupation Unique active job postings, 1-7 June Change in active job postings, 25-31 May to 1-7 June
Customer service occupations n.e.c. 9,614 +18.6%
Parking and civil enforcement occupations 296 +17.9%
Speech and language therapists 1,790 +8.8%
Therapy professionals n.e.c. 289 +7.8%
Debt, rent and other cash collectors 355 +7.6%
Authors, writers and translators 3,481 +6.5%
Bricklayers and masons 514 +6.0%
Gardeners and lanscape gardeners 1,008 +4.5%
Protective service associate professionals n.e.c. 465 +4.0%
Security guards and related occupations 7,642 +3.9%
Kitchen and catering assistants 9,646 -8.0%
Fitness instructors 3,365 -9.0%
Insrance underwriters 763 -9.9%
Architects 1,744 -11.8%
Taxation experts 4,772 -12.6%
Fire service officers (watch manager and below) 373 -13.1%
Dental practitioners 1,652 -13.7%
Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators 1,128 -13.8%
Typists and related keyboard occupations 404 -14.8%
Bar staff 958 -15.7%


Key indicator occupations

Occupation Unique active job postings, 1-7 June Change in active job postings, 25-31 May to 1-7 June
Electricians and electrical fitters 7,946 -1.5%
Large goods vehicle drivers 2,348 +2.7%
Sales and retail assistants 7,460 -0.1%
Waiters and waitresses 753 -5.6%
Bar staff 958 -15.7%
Chefs 9,799 -4.5%
Programmers and software development professionals 41,055 -2.0%
Chartered and certified accountants 2,732 -2.3%
Cleaners and domestics 13,440 -6.4%
Security guards and related occupations 7,642 +3.9%
Primary teaching education professionals 32,907 -6.0%
Care workers and home carers 43,155 -2.8%
Nurses 58,694 -2.7%
Fitness instructors 3,365 -9.0%
Hairdressers and barbers 1,137 +1.9%