Although the hiring rate is down by 5.8% on the year before, the month-on-month hiring growth suggests employer confidence is gaining momentum, albeit slowly.

LinkedIn’s Workforce Report, set to publish later this week, analysed hiring trends across the UK over the last 12 months and shows a steady improvement in hiring since Summer 2020. The data is based on LinkedIn’s 30m members in the UK and represents more than two thirds of the UK’s workforce. While hiring stalled between November and January as the second national lockdown was introduced, it has picked up steam again in the New Year as the UK’s vaccine programme has progressed.

Compared to the same time last year, many industry hiring rates remain significantly down, including in Recreation and Travel (-43.6%), Energy and Mining (-15.3%), Consumer Goods (-15%), Entertainment (-14.7%), Retail (-12.2%) and Manufacturing (-8.7%).

Conversely, Healthcare (+34.1%), Public Administration (+32.1%) and Transportation and Logistics (12.6%) are in growth, industries that have been instrumental to the response to the pandemic.

However, two of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic showed potential green shoots, with the Entertainment (+34.9%) and Recreation and Travel (+34%) sectors showing the biggest spikes in month on month hiring growth in February, after falling in January.

Mariano Mamertino, Senior Economist, EMEA at LinkedIn comments: “LinkedIn’s hiring data for February shows signs for cautious optimism. While the steady improvements we’re seeing won’t be enough to offset rising unemployment, it’s certainly positive news that we’re seeing an increase in hiring across UK employers. The improvement in the Entertainment and Recreation & Travel industries will also come as welcome news to people in those sectors, who’ve faced a very challenging time over the last year. Hiring has been subdued for many months, and it remains slightly below last year’s levels. This means it will take time to get back to pre-pandemic levels of employment, but this data is a positive signal that we are heading in the right direction.”