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Jobs continue to fall in major European cities

Published: Tuesday 1st December 2020

Jobs continue to fall in all major European cities as the pandemic continues. Five of western Europe’s biggest cities have all reported drops in job opportunities. These falls are all bigger than other regions in their respective countries. The five cities are London, Madrid, Paris, Rome and Berlin. London has recorded the biggest fall in available jobs among these five cities. The figures have been released by job website Indeed. This high fall in jobs in London and the other largest cities in Europe is being blamed on tight government lockdown restrictions.

The job site revealed a 50% drop in job postings in London compared to last year. This was higher than an overall 42% drop across the UK. The concentration of retail, leisure and hospitality jobs in London is behind this. This is because these sectors have been hit the worst during the pandemic. The results follow findings by the Bank of England which revealed social consumption spending is higher in the UK than other European countries. Such spending is centred around social interaction; something that has been affected by the recent lockdowns.

Empty streets of London to show how jobs continue to fall in major European cities

Drop in footfall to blame

The results went on to reveal Madrid was second with a 46% decline in job postings from last year. This was followed by Paris (40%), Rome (35%) and Berlin (25%). All of the countries reported higher drops in city jobs compared to non-city jobs. Pawel Adrjan, is an economist and head of European research at Indeed. Adrjan pointed to the damage done to services industries. It is these industries that traditionally drive jobs in cities. Adrjan said: “Office workers staying at home is sucking the life out of these major cities. They’re not ghost towns yet, but risk becoming shadows of their former selves.”

Man's hand stopping dominies from falling to highlight that jobs continue to fall in major European cities.

Jobs continue to fall in London and other cities because of the drop in footfall to major capitals. The high number of people working remotely in cities is also adding to the fall. This has caused a domino effect for traders relying on commuters and city centre visitors for business. This, combined with the collapse of the tourism industry has made it harder than ever to find a job in a major city. Official data reveals workers in London are twice as likely to work from home than anywhere else in the country. This figure rises even more for certain sectors. For example, 80% of IT staff are currently working from home compared to only 18% of people working in retail.

Can cities recover?

There are hopes the end of the second lockdown will be the start of a recovery and the end of high unemployment figures. However, hopes of a Black Friday-led spike in shoppers to London did not occur. UK research provider Springboard released figures earlier this week. This revealed visitor numbers for the capital on Black Friday were down 83% compared to last year. This is in comparison to a 74% drop for regional UK cities and a 56% fall for market towns. Regarding this, Pawel Ardjan said: “I don’t think big cities are dead, but this shows how long and hard the adjustment might be for service workers.”


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