We’ve put out a lot of data in the past few months, in order to help you get a better understanding of what is happening in the labour market at the national and regional level during this crisis. In particular, we’ve highlighted employer demand through the lens of our Job Posting Analytics, to get a sense of how demand for occupations has been changing. We’ve also been keeping a close eye on Claimant Count data, to get a sense of how the crisis is impacting on jobs, both in the nation as a whole, and across the country.
The following chart brings these metrics together, and whilst there is no direct relationship between the two (job postings are an indication of demand, rather than a measurement of actual employment), it’s very interesting to see that from March onwards, there is both a huge decline in job postings and a massive rise in Claimant Counts:
As we move on through the crisis, all the signs are that unemployment will continue rising steeply for the foreseeable future, partly because some businesses are closing, but also because as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) comes to an end, many businesses that have survived will be faced with hard decisions about whether to retain their workforce or make redundancies. As vast numbers of people lose their jobs due to contractions in certain industries, the big question will be which other sectors are starting to pick up, and how can we help those who have lost their jobs to regain employment?
To successfully answer this question, we really need to know two things: firstly, who are the workers that are being laid off (i.e. what occupations were they working in), and which occupations are beginning to see a growth in employer demand? We can think of this in terms of a quadrant, where we plot unemployment by occupation type on the Y axis, and employer demand for specific occupations using job postings on the X axis, as the following graphic shows:
The explanation of the four quadrants and their significance is as follows:
Red: Unemployment is low for these occupations, but so too is employer demand, which means that any interventions should be relatively light touch.
Orange: Unemployment is high, but employer demand for the jobs and skills that these workers have is low. This is where education providers can come in, offering the re-skilling of these workers, so that they can re-enter the workforce in occupations that are high demand.
Blue: Unemployment is low, but employer demand is high. This is therefore where more support is needed for employers, particularly in seeking to help them capitalise on the reskilling of workers from the orange quadrant into the positions they need to fill.
Green: Both unemployment numbers and employer demand are high, meaning that swift interventions are needed to fill the in-demand positions, including the upskilling of workers from both high (orange) and low unemployment (red) occupations.
This may seem all well and good theoretically, but how can the concept be turned into practice to help local responses?
Introducing our Covid Regional Response Tool
We want to introduce you to a new tool we have created, which does exactly this. The Regional Response Tool uses Jobseeker’s Allowance data alongside our own Job Posting Analytics data, to give a view of changes in unemployment and employer demand by occupation in local areas. By mapping these metrics against one another, and by allowing users to filter by low, medium or high skilled occupations using varying time-frames, the tool enables users to understand which types of workers are being made unemployed in their area, and which types of occupations are starting to see an increase in demand.
The great value in this is that it helps identify where there might be redeployment of displaced workers, along the lines described above. But even more than this, the tool then allows users to dig into these occupations to get many more insights, including identification of occupations which are most closely compatible in terms of skills. This is really important. With the huge number of job losses that are occurring across the country, it makes far more sense to redeploy people into occupations that are most similar in terms of skills requirements to the ones they were doing, and where there are differences, to upskill to fill the gaps, rather than train from scratch in something completely different.
The Regional Response Tool identifies these things quickly, and will prove massively helpful in enabling organisations seeking to respond to the crisis by redeploying, retraining and upskilling people back into work. The GIF below shows the tool in action, and will give you an idea of its capabilities:
We are hosting a free webinar on 23rd July, in which we’ll be discussing in more detail how your area can respond positively to the Covid crisis, including a closer look at the Regional Response Tool. You can register for this by clicking on the button below.