London’s jobs market has sprung back to life, becoming a hot spot for the first time since the pandemic closed vast sections of the economy, two separate surveys showed.
The Recruitment & Employment Confederation said London had six of the top 10 areas in the U.K. for new job postings in the week ending July 18. Consulting and financial firms were among the top companies seeking staff in the city, led by EY, Citigroup Inc., PwC, and KPMG, a report by the job search website Indeed showed.
London has lagged the rest of the nation in generating jobs, dragged down by a trend toward remote working that kept people out of the capital and devastated hospitality and retail jobs that depend on footfall. The city’s revival adds to evidence of tightening in the national labor market that’s starting to push up wages, fanning concerns about inflation.
“There’s a real sense of employer confidence has returned,” said Kate Shoesmith, deputy chief executive officer of REC. “London’s jobs market is kicking into gear as the hospitality and retail sectors open and more people return to offices.”
REC counted 1.57 million active job postings across the U.K. About 194,000 were added in the last week, a pace that’s been stable since early June. Childminders, driving instructors, bricklayers, and information technology staff saw the biggest jump in demand. Want advertisements dropped for teachers, butchers, and vehicle cleaners.
The Bank of England is carefully watching signs of strain in the labor market as it considers whether to pare back stimulus measures it put in place in early 2020. As the government winds down a furlough support for wages of those whose workplaces were closed during the pandemic, unemployment is forecast by the central bank to tick higher.
Indeed said jobs in financial services, consulting and law are driving a hiring spree in London, pushing job postings 2% above their February 2020 levels. Food service, arts, and entertainment positions also rose strongly from a year ago.
“It’s not just the hospitality industry hiring,” said Jack Kennedy, U.K. economist for Indeed. “Some of the capital’s biggest and best known professional and financial services institutions are leading the charge.”