The rise in hiring rates has been attributed to the vaccine roll-out with over 27 million UK adults having received their first dose. 

According to new data from professional networking site LinkedIn, the hiring rate in the UK has seen an increase in January – February 2021.

During this time frame, hiring increased by 2.4 per cent, ultimately suggesting employer confidence is slowly growing. This comes as more UK adults are being inoculated against coronavirus and the roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions is well underway.

However, the hiring rate is still down by 5.8 per cent in comparison to figures from early 2020, showing a complete recovery has not yet been made.

Many industry hiring rates remain significantly down, including in Recreation and Travel (-43.6 per cent), Energy and Mining (-15.3 per cent), Consumer Goods (-15 per cent), Entertainment (-14.7 per cent), Retail (-12.2 per cent) and Manufacturing (-8.7 per cent).

Unsurprisingly, industries which have been instrumental to the pandemic including Healthcare (+34.1 per cent), Public Administration (+32.1%) and Transportation and Logistics (12.6%) are in growth.

However, two of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic showed potential signs of recovery as they experienced the biggest spikes in month on month hiring growth in February, after falling in January. Hiring within the Entertainment industry rose by 34.9 per cent whilst Recreation and Travel increased by 34 per cent.

Despite this, it is currently unclear how the predicted vaccine shortage over the coming months will impact hiring rates and the labour market as a whole.

Reflecting on the February figures, Mariano Mamertino, Senior Economist, EMEA at LinkedIn comments:

LinkedIn’s hiring data for February shows signs for cautious optimism. While the steady improvements we’re seeing won’t be enough to offset rising unemployment, it’s certainly positive news that we’re seeing an increase in hiring across UK employers.

The improvement in the Entertainment and Recreation & Travel industries will also come as welcome news to people in those sectors, who’ve faced a very challenging time over the last year. Hiring has been subdued for many months, and it remains slightly below last year’s levels. This means it will take time to get back to pre-pandemic levels of employment, but this data is a positive signal that we are heading in the right direction.

*The LinkedIn Hiring Rate (LHR) is the count of hires (LinkedIn members in each industry who added a new employer to their profile in the same month the new job began), divided by the total number of LinkedIn members in the U.K.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.