Bristol job availability down 24% but remains biggest hiring hub in the South of England

While Bristol has suffered a 24% drop in professional vacancies as a result of COVID-19, the city has retained its spot as the biggest hub in the South of England for hiring. That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the recruitment sector.

The data, provided by business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft, shows that hiring in the city has performed above the average regional dip of 33.9% during the COVID-19 crisis As a result, the city’s share of vacancies across the South of England has grown from 7.6% in 2019 to 8.5% in the first quarter of 2020.

Particularly resilient sectors include professional services, which have seen hiring volumes fall just 14% in Q1. IT professionals also continue to be in high demand, accounting for 30% of all jobs across the city. This is reflected in the hiring activity of Computershare, the most active recruiter in the city, with volumes up 55% in Q1 compared to last year.

Rina Durban, Member Acquisition Manager at APSCo, commented:

“It’s encouraging to see that vacancy losses in Bristol have not been as severe as the rest of the region, with technology showing the same resilience as it has elsewhere in the country. The fact that professional services has registered a far lower drop than many other sectors is also a promising sign and a testament to the sector’s strength in the city.”

James Chaplin, CEO of Vacancysoft, commented:

“While Bristol has clearly been negatively impacted by COVID-19, the fact that it has increased its overall share of vacancies across the South of England shows the strength of the city’s economy, and it will be interesting to see how the city performs as we slowly emerge from lockdown.”

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