Dorset labour market insights september 2020

Latest insights into Dorset's labour market 

Despite expecting the autumn blues to settle in amongst fears of a second coronavirus wave, September brought some positive news for Dorset. Schools and universities reopened, many of us made our first trips back to socially distanced workplaces, and the labour market continued to bounce back with vacancies overtaking last year’s levels for the first time since March.

Open the dashboard below to explore latest labour market developments. Read our Labour market insights commentary September 2020, which includes ways in which the new normal is affecting jobs in demand. This complements our wider observations of the Labour market general trends September 2020 including latest foresight on work, employment and productivity. All our insights should be read in conjunction with the Understanding LMI during COVID-19 guidance on issues related to interpreting these labour market statistics.

Key findings:

  • Vacancy numbers in Dorset continued to improve for a fifth month in a row, actually exceeding last year’s levels for the first time since March. Overall vacancies in September reached 5,294. This is 9% higher than in September 2019, 12% higher than August 2020 and reaching their pre-crisis level from February to March 2020.
  • Industry perspective suggests a mixed picture. Labour demand continued to improve in manufacturing and engineering, but remained under significant pressure in arts, entertainment, accommodation and food services where 45% fewer vacancies were advertised this year compared to last and around 45% of the eligible staff are still on furlough leave nationally.
  • As a result of the pandemic restrictions, demand for occupations involving direct contact such as sales, customer services and skilled trades are lower to date in 2020 when compared to 2019. However, demand for registered nurses, care support workers and software engineers remain high.
  • The NHS, councils, educational, care and residential settings, as well as financial and engineering firms have remained among the top recruiters.
  • Number of claimants still high (5.6%) with 8% of young people in Dorset (18-24 years) claiming benefits and treated as being unemployed. 
  • Comparing vacancy data with the number of claimants, there are now 4.8 claimants for every vacancy – the ratio continuously decreasing after its 7.5 peak in May, but still more than double the 1.9 pre-crisis ratio back in February.
  • The self-employed in receipt of Self Employment Income Support have decreased with 7,800 and as of the 31st August 24, 400 (or 57%) of those eligible to apply in Dorset (60% across UK) claimed SEISS.