Job availability drops 40% in Cambridge but life sciences and tech hiring continues

Despite a 40% drop in vacancies as a result of COVID-19, hiring within Cambridge’s strong life sciences and tech sectors have gone some way to insulating the city’s economy against the worst effects of the pandemic. 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 while many sectors have suffered as a result of the pandemic, IT and life sciences companies have continued hiring in the city.

IT professionals were the most in-demand workers across Q1 2020 - perhaps as a result of their ability to continue operations remotely. There has also been a significant recruitment demand for life science professionals as the pharmaceutical sector plays a central role in the fight against COVID-19.

In fact, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which is aiming to produce 30 million coronavirus vaccine doses by December has seen recruitment jump by 47% compared to last year. Abcam, another business working on vaccine programs, has also seen a significant recruitment uplift in 2020, with volumes up 38.5%

Rina Durban, Member Acquisition Manager at APSCo, commented:

“While Cambridge hasn’t escaped the negative impact of COVID-19, the continued hiring of life sciences and technology professionals shows that hiring is down, but not out across the city. As we slowly emerge from the lockdown more sectors return to a ‘new normal’, there will hopefully be an uptick in hiring in Q2.”

James Chaplin, CEO of Vacancysoft, commented

“The overall figures for Cambridge do not make for positive viewing. However, there are promising signs – with the golden triangle continuing to act as a magnet for life sciences jobs and investment, and Cambridge still generating significant investment.”

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