A new poll of employers by the Manpower Group suggests that job creation is set to fall to its lowest level in nearly 30 years.
The recruitment business’s UK Employment Outlook dropped to -12%, the weakest result since records began in 1992.
All major economic sectors reported a similarly dismal picture, except for the public sector, where the recruitment oulook remained positive at +2%, and agriculture at +11%. However, Manpower highlighted the higher result among farmer was likely due to their desperation to fill the shortfall left by a reduction in the number of migrant workers.
“The level of disruption is unprecedented and many will be looking closely at what happens next with how Covid-19 progresses, how consumers respond and what all this means for their own operations,” Mark Cahill, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup UK, commented.
Indeed, the survey found that nearly half of employers said 50% or more of their normal business activities were on hold due to the pandemic.
Among the worst hit were retail and hospitality sectors, which reported disruption to 72% of their operations.
Just over half – 57% – of employers are hopeful that they will be able to return to pre-Covid-19 hiring levels by this time next year, but Cahill pointed out the nature of work may change forever.
“The uniquely difficult circumstances will mean that some of us will do roles that have never existed before and others will never do the same role again,” he said.
“In the past few weeks we have seen thousands of requests globally for roles that have never existed before, such as contact tracers and temperature checkers.”