The number of job adverts posted has risen to levels not seen since before lockdown in March, a study indicates.
There were 1.36 million active UK job adverts in the first week of November, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).
However, it said regional disparities were clear, with north-west England and Wales leading the recovery, while London had seen a fall in vacancies.
There were more adverts for jobs in nursing than any other sector, it said.
Six of the 12 nations and major regions now have higher numbers of job adverts than in March, while six still have fewer, according to the REC.
Job postings in the North West jumped 36.8% between March and October, while in Wales, the increase was 33.4%.
By contrast, job postings in London saw an 18.7% fall over the same period, with a 9.3% decline in the West Midlands.
“One of the most interesting developments we are seeing in terms of employer demand is the ‘London lag’, which is seeing the capital return to pre-lockdown levels at a much slower rate than other regions of the country,” said Matthew Mee, director of workforce intelligence at Emsi, which worked on the survey in partnership with the REC.
“When we couple this with the fact that furlough take-up has been higher in London than elsewhere, and that the highest rise in claimant counts has been in the London commuter belt, it seems that the restrictions since March may well have had a greater proportionate impact on the capital than on other regions of the country.”
The report also identified several sectors where demand for workers was rising.
Nurses were highly sought after as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread, with 112,149 active job postings – more than any other sector and an increase of 39% since March.
There was also an increase in vacancies for food, drink and tobacco process operatives (+53.2%), large goods vehicle drivers (+43.3%) and carpenters and joiners (+37.2%).
However, the hospitality and leisure sectors saw big declines, with fewer adverts for bar staff (-48.7%), chefs (-45.6%) and fitness instructors (-36.8%).
Figures released on Tuesday showed
the unemployment rate rose to 4.8% in the three months to September, up from 4.5%.
“Unemployment and redundancy numbers earlier this week showed that this is a tough moment for our jobs market,” said REC boss Neil Carberry.
“But we also know that there are always jobs being created by those businesses who can, and as this data reveals, there is hope to be found in many places and sectors.”