NEWS29 May 2020

Online job ad data added to ONS indicators

Covid-19 News UK

UK – The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has included experimental online job adverts indices in its economic indicators for the first time.

Woman writing on application form

The latest bulletin on the UK’s society and economy (published yesterday, 28th May) includes figures from online job search engine, Adzuna, which collates UK job adverts from a range of sources.

According to these experimental figures, online job vacancies declined by more than 50% from the start of March to the start of May 2020. The number of job ads is an indicator of the demand for labour during the Covid-19 outbreak.

As the data is experimental, it is subject to revisions as the statistics are not yet fully developed.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said: "We have been using ‘live’ data on online job adverts from Adzuna to produce a weekly indicator of the number of vacancies across the economy. This is a key indicator of how the labour market is performing and is another example of how the ONS has been working with businesses to mobilise the power of data for public benefit during the pandemic."

In a LinkedIn post, Doug Monro, co-founder and chief executive at Adzuna, wrote: "We've been working with the ONS for years to develop this, but it was the coronavirus crisis that triggered the launch."  

The ONS bulletin also includes initial results from the latest coronavirus business impact survey (covering 4th-17th May), which found that 79% of UK businesses have applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the government’s furlough initiative), and 42% of firms have less than six months of cash reserves.