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🌟 Retrospective edition: it is now 20 weeks since the implementation of social distancing measures in Europe, and we are looking back at how different tech recruitment markets have handled the crisis. Check out the retrospective for each location just below its update.
talent.io has observed a clear economic reaction to the arrival of COVID-19 in Europe through the volumes of new tech jobs being listed on job boards. These dropped significantly in early to mid-March, around calendar week 11, in all the locations we analysed.
We tracked the activity of the tech job market by looking at the volume of companies listing new tech jobs weekly on major job boards (Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor).
Our study covers the period from the start of March, the start of lockdown measures throughout Europe, to mid-July 2020 (calendar weeks 10-30).
Weeks 25 - 30:
From mid-June and throughout July the total number of companies offering tech positions have dropped significantly, falling to a low which is equal to that immediately after the implementation of lockdown measures.
What happened in June? In March the drop in new tech jobs was the result of shutdowns: now it may be an opposite cause which is having the same effect. From the start of June countries within the EU (and a few outside of it) started reopening borders for non-essential travel. After three months of lockdowns, distancing and closed borders, this could be causing a 'summer-holiday' effect to slow hiring activity.
For the ten weeks immediately following the first impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Europe, collective tech job creation activity across talent.io's tracked locations was fluctuating in a two-week cycle at between 50% to 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels.
From early May (week 20) the creation of tech jobs rose and stabilised at between 75-85% of normal levels.
Weeks 25 - 30:
In mid-June the volume of new tech positions being posted for the Paris region underwent its biggest drop this year. This happened a few days after a further lifting of social lockdown measures in France, with the reopening of primary schools and greater allowance of travel and gatherings. It may reflect a slowing of business as people catch up on activities which had previously been restricted.
It is typical for business activity to decrease dramatically in France over the summer, however usually this takes place in August and into September. Following this dip the tech job market picked up again into mid-July, plateauing in week 30 at c. 65% of normal levels.
Initially tech job creation in Paris followed a two-week cycle of highs and lows, with an overall downward trend at 11% lower than the market average (see All tracked locations).
At the start of May (week 19) tech job creation in Paris increased slightly over the course of three weeks. For the first three weeks of June (23 - 25) the number of tech jobs being created in Paris stabilised at around 68% of normal levels, 10-20% lower than the average across all tracked locations.
Weeks 25 - 30:
The mid-June drop in tech job position creation appears to have taken place across France as major tech centres outside Paris were also heavily affected. The appearance of new tech job positions decreased by around 2/3rds. Other than Paris, French tech centres have not experienced significant recovery, although there has been a gradual increase again taking place into July, up to 43% of normal levels.
At the start of the crisis in Europe tech job creation in major French tech centres outside of Paris dropped by over 60%, subsequently rising and falling erratically with sharp changes on a weekly basis.
Although at first impacted more severely than Paris, one month after the start of the crisis these markets recovered somewhat and following a short downturn in week 19, improved significantly from early May (week 20) onward, staying at between 73 - 93% of normal levels. This was a stronger recovery than experienced by Paris, and similar to the wider recovery of tech hiring which seems to have taken place in Europe at the start of June.
Weeks 25 - 30:
A steady decline in new tech job positions took place from the second week of June, coinciding with the UK Government's second phase of easing lockdown restrictions (implemented June 1st and 15th). This downturn hit its lowest point of around 20% of normal levels at the start of July. This was parallel to the trends across our other tracked locations, however together with Paris, London was the worst-affected area. Some slight recovery has taken place into mid-July but the upward trend is inconsistent.
London experienced the sharpest initial drop out of all of our locations in tech job creation, of over 55%. After rising sharply back to near-normal levels at the start of April (week 14), the market subsided again to its lowest point at around 35% of normal levels by the end of the month. There was no overall upward or downward trend for the tech job market in London during May, with the market reduced by 60% on average.
The London tech job market picked up at the start of June, rising to be between 72% and 81% of pre-COVID-19 levels.
Weeks 25 - 30:
Berlin has also felt the effects of a downturn through June and July. This has come to German tech hubs later than to their French, UK, Dutch and Belgian counterparts, starting from the last week of June, and although still noticeable, has also been less strongly felt than in other locations. From a high point at week 26 to the low point at week 28, weekly tech job listings in Berlin fell from 567 to 351, a drop of 38%. The following week saw an increase, which was lost again as tech job creation fell in week 30.
Since tech job creation had been performing well prior to the end of June, in Berlin this remains at 95% of normal activity levels even after the decrease in business.
Initially Berlin was not heavily affected in comparison to other markets, until a second drop in activity at the start of April (weeks 14-15) saw the numbers of companies creating new tech jobs shrink to below 50% of normal levels.
From the second week of April to late May weekly tech job listings were on a steep upward trend, surpassing immediately pre-COVID-19 levels of activity at the start of May. It is possible that as companies acclimatised to the new conditions in Berlin, they also started to post tech positions which had been placed on hold at the start of the crisis. From late May (week 21) the market for tech jobs performed its best in 2020, continuing strongly into the start of June.
Weeks 25 -30:
As in Berlin, the Hamburg tech job market dropped from week 26 to week 28, by 37%. Coming into mid-July (week 30) no strong recovery has yet taken place, although the gradual increase in new tech jobs being posted was steady throughout the previous two weeks.
Hamburg at first experienced two sharp decreases in tech job creation, becoming one of the worst affected markets at the start of April with a low point of around 35% of normal activity levels. By week 16 there was a sharp upturn, however activity continued at reduced levels without showing a subsequent tendency to recovery. The market recovered to approximately 50% of its previous strength during April, but did not show any further signs of recovery until late May (week 21).
In June the Hamburg tech job market remained unsteady, but improved to approximately 70% of its pre-COVID-19 activity, a rise of approximately 20% on its performance in April and May.
Weeks 25 - 30:
From early to mid-June a decrease took place in Munich's tech job market, the first and most affected German market in this latest downturn. This downturn happened more gradually than in other markets, taking four weeks (from week 24 to 28) to fall 50%. Tech job creation subsequently rose slightly into mid-July but has remained in fluctuation.
Like Hamburg, tech job creation in Munich suffered two heavy impacts at the start of the crisis in Europe (weeks 11-12 and 14-15 respectively). From mid-April the job market recovered significantly and steadied at approximately 80% of normal levels.
By the start of May job creation activity rose back to normal levels, even surpassing job creation activity in the first months of 2020. Until the second week of June, the tech job market in Munich remained stable, with minimal fluctuation taking place.
Weeks 25 - 30:
Between weeks 26 - 27 at the start of July tech job creation in Amsterdam fell by nearly 2/3rds, finally plateauing in week 28, 71% down from week 26. It has remained at these reduced levels into mid-July, not rising or falling.
Initially the tech job market in Amsterdam fell by around 50%, a similar impact to that in some of the other more affected cities which we analysed. However it then continued to drop without having any significant recovery in activity. The low point came at the start of April, with activity dropping to about 30% of normal levels. This doubled over the following three weeks but plummeted again two weeks later. The start of May (weeks 19-20), saw a huge spike in activity which went far higher even than the usual tech job creation activity in the market.
To understand the spike of tech jobs being created in the Amsterdam market we consulted one of our Amsterdam specialists, Alexandre L'Huillier, who gave us some insights on what has happened.
Since Amsterdam had greatly reduced levels of tech job creation over the weeks 11-19 even in comparison to other markets, it is possible that the activity spike showed tech jobs being posted which had been put on hold over the previous months. On the 6th of May the Dutch Prime Minister presented a roadmap for easing out of lockdown measures. This is the point at which the spike we see occurs. It suggests that with light at the end of the tunnel, companies in Amsterdam have decided to start filling their high-priority vacancies, reopening their tech hiring.
Following the sharp increase in week 20, the creation of tech jobs in Amsterdam remained at higher levels that peaked in the last week of May. Despite a dip at the start of June, for the time being the tech job market in Amsterdam performed well until the end of June.
Weeks 25 - 30:
Brussels tech jobs fell by 55% from weeks 25/26 to week 27. The market made one quick recovery into week 28 but then dropped again by mid-July at week 30. This drop in performance has reduced tech job creation even more than the initial social restrictions in March. So far there has been no upturn.
We started recording Brussels in response to noticing the changes taking place in other markets. As such we were unable to get accurate figures for Belgium pre-dating the crisis, however from observing other graphs (in particular for major French tech centres other than Paris) we can estimate that 'normal' levels would average around 30% higher than those in week 11, i.e. approximately 300 companies creating new tech positions weekly.
The creation of tech jobs in Brussels dropped steeply at the end of March and subsequently did not stabilise, remaining volatile throughout April. Over the first to second weeks of May (weeks 19-20) there was a very strong upturn in the number of Brussels tech jobs being created. This mirrored the wider trend which we observed across multiple markets we are tracking. The market remained at these new, higher levels from May to June. We estimate that the market in Brussels at this point rose to approximately 80% its usual strength. This was the best performance from the Brussels market since the beginning of March.
There was a sharp downturn in tech job creation across multiple markets in mid-June to early July (between weeks 24-28). This was especially noticeable in 1) France 2) London and 3) Amsterdam.
This may reflect a surge of people breaking from work as social and travel restrictions were widely eased throughout June in European countries.
Germany was on the whole the least and latest affected by this decrease in activity, although Hamburg has not yet made a recovery from the initial impact to the tech job market in March.
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