Northampton lagging behind region in post-Covid jobs pick-up

Vacancies 18 per cent below pre-pandemic figures — compared to nearly four per cent up in Peterborough

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 2:50 pm

Northampton is lagging behind the rest of the region in its jobs market getting back on track.

Numbers of new jobs being posted in and around the town is currently 18 per cent below what it was before the Covid-19 pandemic.

That compares to other East Midlands towns and cities such as Peterborough and Mansfield where the number of jobs being advertises is UP from 12 months ago.

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How Northampton compares to nearby areas when it comes to the jobs market picking up

Last week’s eagerly-aniticpated reopening of many gyms, pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops boosted labour market activity.

But leading economic thinktank Centre for Cities ranked Northampton 43rd out of 63 of the UK's cities and large towns despite revealing the Midlands is leading the post-lockdown jobs recovery.

Senior Analyst, Elena Magrini, said: "The events of the past year have played out differently across the country.

"With the economy now gradually reopening, urban labour markets are likely to continue to change fast. Local job posting and claimant count rate trends will bear careful monitoring in the coming months."

Recruitment site indeed.com — which contributed to the Centre for Cities report — had 1,466 full-time jobs listed within ten miles of Northampton today (Thursday).

Around a quarter of those are in manufacturing, construction or logistics sectors, where recovery is thought to be fastest.

Latest official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed 14,070 people in the new West Northamptonshire authority were looking for work in mid-March.

Ms Magrini added: "Differences in job posting recoveries among cities and large towns are linked to sectoral variations in employment.

"Places where job postings have recovered most had greater pre-pandemic shares of postings in occupations related to the production and distribution of goods, such as manufacturing, driving and loading & stocking, as well as essential services like healthcare, social care and education.

"In contrast, places with higher shares of pre-pandemic job opportunities in food & beverage service and hospitality & tourism are trailing in overall posting growth.

"Two reasons are possible. First, despite the partial reopening of those sectors, many businesses are operating below full capacity due to restrictions on indoor activity.

"Second, those sectors had also furloughed large shares of their workforces. As some businesses reopen, they may be recalling former staff instead of hiring new workers."