Plant & Works Engineering
Manufacturing job numbers plummet in Q1 2020
Published:  24 April, 2020

According to the latest quarterly job market report from CV-Library, a leading UK independent job board, the UK labour market slowed down in Q1 2020, with manufacturing job adverts dropping by 12.1% year-on-year and a further 10% quarter-on-quarter.

The report analyses job market activity throughout Q1 2020 and compares the findings with data from the previous year and quarter. It shows that the retail industry experienced the sixth biggest drop in job adverts out of all the sectors analysed.

1. Catering – down 52.8%

2. Sales – down 23.8%

3. Automotive – down 22.6%

4. Recruitment – down 17.8%

5. Administration – down 16.7%

6. Retail – down 14%

7. Customer Service – down 13.6%

8. Marketing – down 13.5%

9. Manufacturing – down 12.1%

10. Leisure/Tourism - down 12%


Despite this, average pay for manufacturing jobs increased by 3.4% year-on-year, though fell by 0.1% quarter-on-quarter.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments on the findings: “It really has been a tumultuous start to the year and it’s having a massive impact on UK businesses and the wider economy. While measures are being put in place to protect companies and their employees, the reality is that both Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic will have long-lasting effects on the UK labour market and we’re already starting to see this in the manufacturing industry.

“The job market has been largely candidate driven for a number of years now and this meant that businesses had no choice but to hike up their pay packets in order to attract applicants to their roles. However, this is set to change. Unemployment rates are set to soar in the coming months and this could be financially devastating for UK professionals.”

The data also shows that applications to new jobs in the UK have risen by a marginal 0.8% year-on-year and a larger 27.3% quarter-on-quarter. When looking at data for the manufacturing industry, applications fell by 14% year-on-year.

Biggins concludes: “We know that a lot of people are out of work right now and while applications have fallen, this may well be because of the drop in jobs. It’s difficult to predict how the labour market will perform in the next quarter, but sadly, it doesn’t look promising. While more professionals will be keen to find new job opportunities, organisations are suffering badly at the helm of COVID-19 and many are holding back on their hiring efforts as a result.”