Growing confidence – mid-July to August
During recent weeks, confidence has returned a great deal. Compared to the two-month period immediately following the lockdown announcement, new jobs have come up seven times as regularly in the month spanning mid-July to mid-August.
Relative to the previous two months, vacancies have arisen twice as regularly at large (Magic Circle, international, UK Top 20) and medium sized (20th to 50th largest by revenue). Top 100 and smaller firms have continued their resurgence, with another 167% increase in the volume of new positions advertised daily.
As the larger firms normally account for a greater proportion of the vacancies, despite this recent re-doubling of activity there are still 70% fewer vacancies arising day to day compared to the start of the year.
In contrast, the sustained increase in activity at firms ranked 21st to 50th by revenue, which bounced back considerably during the previous period, is now only 11% down on its pre-pandemic benchmark, in terms of rate of new vacancies per day.
New vacancies are now arising at Top 100 and smaller/boutique London firms 61% as often as they did pre-lockdown.
Whilst litigation roles previously represented less than a quarter of our roles, they now account for nearly a third, as the initial drop off was less severe than in other areas, and the gradual increase month to month has been marginally stronger than in other areas.
Although still at a fraction of their pre-pandemic levels, finally a trickle of transactional real estate, corporate and commercial technology roles have also started to come through again, after four months of scarcely any activity.
All told, we are currently seeing 53% as many vacancies arise compared to before the pandemic really took hold, which is a remarkable recovery, considering how the market largely ground to a halt in March and barely moved in the first months that followed.