Impact of COVID-19 on industries in the UK

Today, LinkedIn Senior Economist Mariano Mamertino shared a post about how COVID-19 has impacted different industries in the UK. We’re sharing his full post here as well:  

We recently shared initial insights on how the UK labour market is being affected by COVID-19. We are now beginning to see the early impact of the pandemic on different industries in the UK, as demonstrated by the LinkedIn Hiring Rate. Our data shows that nationally - and across all industries - hiring growth in the UK has slowed since public health interventions were announced in March.

While the data shows that this unprecedented situation has created incredibly challenging circumstances for a number of industries, there are sectors that have been able to weather the situation and are poised to continue hiring growth. 

At this stage, we’re seeing very clearly that some industries are more affected than others, and industries fall into three groupings:    

Responding industries: As businesses and the economy shift to a very different environment, the following industries have the highest hiring increases compared to this time last year:

  • Transportation & Logistics: +6.9%
  • Hardware & Networking: +5.6% 
  • Healthcare: +5.4% 

These industries are central to the pandemic response. For example, Hardware & Networking businesses are supporting the shift to remote work. The healthcare industry has shown hiring growth to cope with the increased pressure on the healthcare system, from treating patients and meeting the need for new equipment to tackle the virus.

Weathering industries: A second category of industries, including Finance and Software & IT, have faced challenges but have managed through some of the changes. These industries have seen a smaller drop in hiring and, on the whole, have been more able to transition their workforces into remote roles. Some industries may have postponed hiring temporarily, but we expect there will be some stabilization as companies transition to remote hiring. That said, we will have to wait for the economy to restart before employment can go up again overall. The Retail industry has seen small growth driven by a number of supermarkets announcing major hiring plans. However, this has been offset by wider challenges for high street retailers, whose businesses have been harder hit by the pandemic. 

  • Retail: +2.2% 
  • Finance and Software & IT: between -2% and -5% 

Adversely impacted: These industries have been directly impacted by the pandemic, in part as a result of closures and event cancellations, and as such their hiring rates are around or well below the national average (-15%): 

  • Recreation & Travel: -47.1% 
  • Entertainment -25.8%
  • Corporate Services -15.4%

We will continue to monitor our insights during this crisis to provide some clarity on the impact to our labour market, and the lessons that we can learn from other countries as economies try to navigate their response. 

*All hiring rate % changes are year-on-year and calculated as of the week ending 27/3/2020. Our analysis looks at the year-on-year changes in hiring rate, which is a measure of hires divided by LinkedIn membership. 

LinkedIn data scientists Brian Xu and Michael Lombard contributed to this article.