The latest ONS employment figures released this week paint a comparatively positive picture for the employment sector with the official number of job vacancies starting to recover.

Commenting on the latest data, Gi Group UK’s CEO Paulo Canoa said “This week’s data published by the ONS mirrors what we are witnessing across all of our recruitment businesses. Allied with the roll-out of the first Covid-19 vaccinations this month, there is a lot to be optimistic about as a hugely challenging year draws to a close. However, unemployment continues to rise – most notably in the retail and hospitality sectors – and regrettably this trend looks set to continue as 2021 progresses and government support for employers expires.

That said, despite the pandemic, we are still seeing a significant demand for temporary workers, particularly in the logistics and online retail sector. While this is partly driven by Christmas demand, we are also seeing businesses in this sphere consistently investing in anticipation of consumer buying behaviour continuing its seemingly unstoppable transition to online.

Our experience is echoed in the wider market, with Staffing Industry Analysts recently publishing data showing that demand for temporary workers is up by 5.0%. Their article published this week includes comments from Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, saying: “Today’s ONS figures confirm what REC research is telling us – 2020 has been a tough year, but there are reasons to be hopeful as we approach 2021. The record increase in total hours worked is a positive and the REC’s Jobs Recovery Tracker measured 1.4 million active job postings at the start of December, a new high for the year. With the vaccine being rolled out, it’s likely a recovery will take place in 2021.”