Professional job vacancies across England and Wales have dropped by 33% in 2020, according to research conducted by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
The report used data provided by intelligence specialist, Vacancysoft, that revealed jobs in the capital had also fallen 32.3% in the space of a year.
Unsurprisingly, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the most severely hit job markets included marketing and sales, which saw a cut of 40.1% and 39.1% respectively.
Ann Swain, CEO at APSCo, said: “No one could have predicted that as the year drew to a close, we were not only still battling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but were also wondering right until the 11th hour whether a Brexit deal would be struck.
“As a result of the huge challenges that the coronavirus has had on the professional recruitment market, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see that vacancies have reduced heavily throughout the UK when compared to 2019.”
However, a 9.9% rise in IT vacancies was reported as the pandemic continues to accelerate the move to online operations.
Hiring across life sciences also provided a positive outlook with a year-on-year increase of 2.7%.
Swain added: “While some sectors have been hit particularly hard by national and local lockdowns – most notably consumer goods and services, for example – others such as health and life sciences have remained resilient and reported strong growth.
“We are cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind us and that the mass vaccination programme will help some sense of normality return towards the middle of 2021.”