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Childminders and debt collectors - UK job ads hit post-lockdown high

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08/13/2020 | 08:59am EDT
FILE PHOTO:  A man walks past job advertisements in the window of a recruitment office in central London

Employers in Britain have posted the most job advertisements since the country went into its coronavirus lockdown but there were some warning signals about the economy's recovery prospects in the increase in demand for workers.

Among the most sought-after staff in early August were childminders, suggesting more people working from home heeded the government's call for them to return to their workplaces, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) said.

Gardeners, construction workers and light goods vehicle drivers were also high on the list of recruiters.

But debt collectors were in demand too, reflecting the struggles faced by many households whose incomes have been hit, the REC said.

"Many firms will face cash struggles in September and October, so redundancies will be with us for months to come and unemployment will rise. But a recovery is underway," Neil Carberry, REC's chief executive, said.

"Construction sites have re-opened, logistics companies are dealing with high demand, and with people spending more time at home, many have been looking to spruce up their house and gardens."

Total job postings rose by 126,000 between Aug. 3-9 to 1.10 million, REC said.

The previous high was the first week of June, when 112,000 new postings were made.

However the total number of job postings remained well below the 1.35 million that were active in early March, before the lockdown.

The Bank of England last week said it expected Britain's unemployment rate would almost double to 7.5% by the end of 2020 after the government's job subsidy programme expires on Oct. 31.

Carberry said cutting employers' social security contributions, better skills training and a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union would help protect jobs.

(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Estelle Shirbon and David Milliken)

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