In early 2020, as it became clear just how serious and ubiquitous the Coronavirus pandemic was about to be, thousands of companies around the world closed their offices. Along with office closures came massive hiring slowdowns and freezes that affected even the most economically-sound companies.
In recent weeks, hiring in some European countries is showing early signs of recovery.
The above chart shows hiring across European countries at 50 companies that have had active job-listings websites since January 1, 2020. A universal drop can be seen in late January and then another in mid-March when it became clear that workplaces would need to shut down. From March to May, the general trend was a slow attrition of job listings leading into June.
Germany leads in terms of openings across the 50 companies we tracked for this study. However, a steady decline of new job listings in recent months is clear, with an average of 1,000 fewer job listings posted per day in recent weeks compared to March 2020.
England follows a similar trend to that of Germany, with daily job listings declining since March 2020. Between March and June, the average number of job listings posted across the 50 most-active companies has decreased by more than 1,000. There is a small tail of recent activity at the end of May into June, but it's too early to know is we're witnessing a new growth trend here.
In Sweden, on the other hand, a recent-but-sustained period of job-listing growth is evident. Beginning in mid-May, the number of job listings posted per day has increased, if even slightly. The change is significant here because it shows a continued trend of growth rather than, as you can see, a daily fluctuation in new job-post activity. Sweden isn't near its pre-pandemic numbers when it comes to job listings per day, but the recent change is at the very least encouraging.
Austria and Portugal are the only two European countries we surveyed that appear to have clear growth after March 2020. In Austria, the number of daily job listings doubled in April and then tripled going into May and June. The country is already lifting its Coronavirus border checks with all countries except for Italy, and has even announced the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season in July. After all, an active economy leads to job creation.
Portugal wasn't hit hard by the pandemic, and, like Austria, began opening its borders to tourists from select countries. That openness and relatively stable condition likely contributed to positive activity in hiring in the country.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.